Today I cried. It was tears of joy after months of banging every door to every possible and impossible roads to raise public awareness on the issue of air pollution in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia.
Since, August I was paying a close attention to the issues of dust, smog, soil contamination, CO emission etc. In general, urban pollution. Once I wrote that we are all year round sick: Winter months-thick smog that you can’t breath, Spring-Dust storms that irritates your eyes and nasal passage, short Summer which is long enough to have allergy to pollen, Autumn-fine dust in the air due to roadworks!
Today’s article on the UB Post highlights winter smog issues. I was screaming about it since October. I was asking my friends journalists to write about it. Against my principles, I have been promoting carbon-mask business, had to have verbal cross-fire with the Speaker (@enkhboldz) of Mongolian Parliament and the head (@Lodoiravsal) of IT School of Mongolian National University. I was continuously punching, or maybe even abusing, the President @elbegdorj, the Prime Minister @altankhuyag_mn and other dignitaries and VIPs on Twitter. Politicians would get silent whenever I start to use #Утаа in my tweets.
We had a successful campaign with distributing masks to traffic police officers and city cleaners. Tweeterizen: Naranzun (@Naranzun); Batsaikhan (@Batnice), Batka (@GBaterdene), G. Bayarkhuu, even Tanhai emee (@Tanhai_Emee) were involved in this action. We have raised money. Young people were getting up on wee hours of cold December nights to show little kindness to those people, who work in the middle of traffic pollution every day, any season. Then, I had to visit few NGOs to understand what our civil society does to tackle the issue. Also, had to ask few lawyers if we, Mongols, could do class action against the Government. It turns out our legal system would protect us ONLY if we could prove the tangible loss we have due to air pollution! I was outraged.
I was speechless when the Mongolian guy, who works for International Criminal Court in Hague simply replied NO to my request to support with advice. I also did encourage PhD students and already established researchers abroad who all are Mongolian nationals to write articles in plain language for Mongols and publish it in English. It was done via Facebook groups that I am a member of, and on my page Alimaa’s Cyber Space. Only one person replied, others were silent. Thank you Ganbat Narantuya, a research student at Australian National University for the support.
When well-educated Mongols were silent, I refused to understand it! If ordinary Mongols have been used to the indifference of our politicians why outspoken PhDs abroad? They were nothing to loose, plus, otherwise were pretty active in their criticism of current Mongolian politics! I felt immensely powerless, but yet I keep writing about the issue, because I owe to Mongolian children clean and friendly environment to grow up. Because, it is the right thing to do that is why I keep pushing the agenda.
From very beginning Mr. Bayarsaikhan (@DBayarsaikhan), WHO expert in Geneva; Dr. Sergelen (@Sergelen_M) Mr. Ninjbat (@NinjbatL) Mr.Ts.Bat-Erdene (@tsbat_IT) Mr. Ganbat (@Ganbatu) Ms. GandanStyle (@Gandanstyle) Ms. Eliiregch (@Uyanga_ts) were very supportive of me. I am thankful to them.
At some point, I was so frustrated that I started to write to WHO, UN, UN DP, UN Habitat, Green Peace. I have even tweeted to Pope Benedict and Dalai Lama accounts too. Some Mongols went ballistic with a claim that I was puting down Mongolia on the international arena, thus, I am not a patriotic type. LOL. I tell you, these guys were verbally abusive, basically, because: 1. I was a woman 2. I was outspoken 3. I was telling the truth. Speaking of womanhood, our female MPs (@WomenCaucus) never ever retweeted a single #Утаа hashtag TWT. I wrote to every female MP’s account except one who has not hold an account. I will still remember it when 2016 General Election comes I will for sure REMIND them. I am so disappointed in those women for what they have done and what they don’t have done. Until now.
To expand on the topic I did some research on my own. Findings were shocking, that I could label UB air pollution GENOCIDE.
I encourage you to have an access to the air pollution updates from UB_Air through Facebook and Tweeter. Sometimes, the apparatus gets confused that the content of Particulate Matters in the air is high :(((
Also there is a weather website: www.tsag-agaar.gov.mn informing monthly air quality indicators. There was a website of the UB Air Quality Control Authority, that provides daily average air pollution indices. For some strange reason it doesn’t exist any more since mid-December. Perhaps, corruption scandal that its chiefs are involved had affected its existence. LOL. The National Anti-Air Pollution Committee at the President’s Office has http://air.president.mn/. It is glossy, but useless!
Maybe for some my cry would seem wasteful, but I still believe, it is not only doing things right, but also doing right things is important!
Reality is we live in the 21st century, in #Ulaanbaatar, #Smog #Capital of the #World
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