Kabul residents embrace first snowfall, anticipate more amid pollution concerns

Kabul experienced its first snowfall of the year on Sunday, bringing residents to the streets in celebration, albeit with hopes for continued snowfall to combat the city’s air pollution crisis exacerbated by the widespread use of coal and other fuels for heating.

Children, youths, and residents ventured outdoors to welcome the snow, having waited weeks for its arrival. While the snowfall was insufficient to cover the city entirely, it was a source of joy for many.

“The air pollution has decreased slightly. It’s been causing respiratory diseases in children. With this snow, the pollution has reduced a bit,” said Wahidullah, a Kabul resident.

Samim, another resident, expressed disappointment at the meager snowfall: “We were hoping for more, but it didn’t snow much.”

Children and teenagers celebrated the season with photos and snow play.

Some Kabul residents believe that the snowfall could alleviate Afghanistan’s drought crisis and boost agricultural productivity. “The snowfall is good, but we hope for more rain,” commented Wajiha, a resident of Kabul.

In Afghanistan, particularly in Kabul, there is a longstanding tradition associated with the first snowfall, where the person who informs their friends of the snow first is treated as a special guest. However, many say this tradition is fading amidst life’s challenges and is gradually being forgotten.