Target: Sardar Muhammad Yaqoob Khan, President of Azad Jammu & Kashmir
Goal: Clean up garbage, agricultural runoff, and hospital waste in Kashmir to prevent disease
Climate change has been particularly hard on the Kashmir region, with droughts and unseasonal rainfall leading to low agricultural crop production. Water-borne diseases like malaria, cholera and jaundice are common in Kashmir, and the reduced food production is leading to hunger and malnutrition. In fact, the World Health Organization estimates that climate changes over the last 30 years already claim at least 150,000 lives each year.
Kashmir’s “Vyeth” or River Jhelum has faced tremendous pressure in recent years. Waste disposal from the slums flows into the river and degrades water quality. The areas near water sources have poor drainage systems and drains are blocked with human waste. Many of the roads are littered with garbage, and there are not enough waste collection and disposal facilities to keep up with the mounting bags of trash. Hospital waste is also a significant problem in Kashmir. Even when medical professionals properly dispose of waste inside the hospital, most hospitals do not have an incinerator or a proper biological treatment plant nearby.
There have been increases in upper respiratory tract infections in Kashmir, which are linked the degrading environmental conditions in the region. Sign the below petition to urge the Kashmir’s leaders to make waste cleanup a top priority for the sake of human health.
Dear President Khan,
As you know, Kashmir is suffering from the effects of climate change, including drastic changes in temperature, precipitation, and agricultural production. Although we can scarcely reverse decades of climate change damage, we can take action now to prevent the spread of disease in Kashmir. Water-borne diseases like malaria, cholera and jaundice are common in Kashmir, and the reduced food production is leading to hunger and malnutrition.
I am urging you to work with local environmental groups to devise a plan to clean up the garbage that lies along the streets in of Kashmir. Please work with hospitals to ensure that staff members have access to incinerators and proper biological treatment plants. And please work with farmers to ensure that the chemicals they use on their crops are not adversely affecting the region’s waterways. People in Kashmir are suffering form more upper respiratory tract infections than ever before because of the degrading environmental conditions as well. Please do your part to prevent the spread of disease and improve public health conditions for your people.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: artist in doing nothing via Flickr