Improving Access To Water In Afghanistan
In Afghanistan, more than 92% of the population lives without proper sanitation, and four out of five people have no access to safe drinking water. For the last two years, water, sanitation and hygiene teams from the NGO Medair have been working to improve the situation.
From Medair :
Cultural Background and Current Challenges
“More than 35 years of conflict and war have left the people of Afghanistan in a state of protracted crisis. Despite the overthrow of the Taliban regime ten years ago, civil unrest and increasing levels of insurrection have hindered efforts to bring stability and development to the nation. Almost a third of Afghans are food insecure. In 2010, 191,000 of Afghanistan’s youngest children died before reaching their fifth birthday—that’s an average of 523 child deaths every single day. More than one-quarter of those deaths are caused by diarrhoea, an indication of the country’s poor sanitation and unsafe water. In addition, more than 400,000 people—the majority living in remote and isolate communities—are affected each year by natural disaster. For these families, many already living hand-to-mouth, a flood, landslide, or earthquake can exhaust all their coping means, leaving them desperate for outside assistance.”
What is Medair doing in the country?
Medair’s purpose for being in Afghanistan is to assist communities that have critical needs. We work with families affected by natural disaster, the chronically poor who are living in underdeveloped areas, and communities who have been displaced by conflict. In particular, Medair seeks to identify and serve communities that are isolated and neglected, with no other means of assistance.
In order to meet these needs, Medair currently runs the following programmes: food aid; nutrition; water, sanitation, and hygiene; and emergency response, incorporating disaster prevention and/or mitigation measures. [Read More]
#1 : A young girl gives her goats a drink in the village of Borlak Paein in Bamyan.
#2 : A woman collects water from a stream in the village of Borlak Paein in Bamyan.
#3 : A mother of six washes potatoes at her house in the village of Borlak Paein in Bamyan. Her husband’s crop was badly affected by a prolonged drought and he has had to buy in a lot of food for the winter.
#4 : A girl leads donkeys while her father stands on the plough behind in a village in the province of Bamyan. A prolonged drought means this year’s harvest has been poor and many people are worried about having enough food to see them through the winter.
#5 : Collecting water in Bamyan province. Cholera, diarrhoea and dysentery are common in Afghanistan, and more than 20% of children under the age of five will die as a result of water-related diseases.
#6 : Zaina, a widow and mother of six, is a beneficiary of Medair’s financial support for vulnerable families.
#7 : The valleys of Bamyan, where Medair runs many of its water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) projects.
#8 : Khadija’s two grandchildren have lived with her since their mother left to marry another man after the death of her husband. A widow herself, Khadija is a beneficiary of Medair’s vulnerable persons programme as she has no means of income or place of her own.
[Credit : Kate Holt/Medair]