Voices of the parents against air pollution started to reach relevant policymakers.
Ts. Purevkhuu, Head of Moms and Dads Against Smog NGO:
“I am a mother of two children. In the past one year, my children suffered from pneumonia 1-4 times and got hospitalized three times. I spent a total of about MNT 3 million for medical costs for one year. Even though a certain percentage of the costs is covered by social insurance, as average salary of Mongolians is MNT 500,000-600,000, this amount is one’s six months’ salary. In this tough economic situation, what will you eat and drink if you bought medicines and drugs with the accumulated salary of 6 months? If children are sick, mothers will not be able to work. Therefore, air pollution is affecting and deteriorating people’s livelihoods and health alike.
A movement started ever since a young mother posted photos on her Facebook timeline in which authority figures are partying and at the same time her child is lying on the floor of a hospital in the midst of the flu outbreak and simply the hospital capacity could not deal with the situation. This movement expanded enormously within a few days with thousands of people expressing their opinions on the issue in the social network arena and writing posts within a day. Association of Moms & Dads Against Smog staged a demonstration in December 2016 uniting and engaging the parents against air pollution of Ulaanbaatar and started its far-reaching activities since then.
Moms and dads united against smog organized a series of public gatherings. In addition, they did advocacy successfully and united the public force by broadcasting TV programs, news and information demanding the commitments and responsibilities of decision-makers and could show the importance of participation of citizens, especially of women in terms of influencing the decision-makers. Even though the government allowed the representatives of the movement to sit in the working group of the National Program to Combat Air Pollution, they hardly hear their voices and this engagement is not meaningful. Follow-up activities are to be seen to be able to influence the decision-makers in the future…