Clean Water- a requisite for health and wellbeing
Shahab lives in Nahr-e-shahi, a district in Balkh province, northern Afghanistan, with limited services and where poverty is widespread. The province was at the center of the conflict in 2021 and it is badly suffering because of the prolonged drought that has been ongoing for almost 2 years.
Water is not easily available, with people having to buy safe drinking water, while struggling to earn enough income to support their basic needs. Because of this, many people keep fetching water from unsafe sources such as canals and streams.
“I still remember when my younger daughter suffered from diarrhea. I had to take her to the village clinic every week. The doctor used to say that her health was badly affected by the contaminated water”, says Shahab.
Not only Shahab, but most of the people in the district, fetch water from unprotected sources located far away from their houses, increasing the risks for children and women since they are usually tasked to get the water for the family's needs. Many villagers never really followed any hygiene education session, so, they were not aware that water-borne diseases are extremely dangerous.
“To have enough water for my entire family, I had to spend 50AFN for 20 liters. It is not easy to find this money because I am without a job and there are no opportunities in the district”, he adds.
With funding from the Afghanistan Humanitarian Fund (AHF), DACAAR is implementing a project in the area, providing safe drinking water, hygiene kits, and hygiene education to those most in need.
“It was a weekend day in the winter when the water tanker reached my district and distributed water to the village. It was such a blessing. DACAAR also gave to us a hygiene kit, so that we can finally have proper hygiene items”, says Shahab with a smile on his face.
Drinkable water and hygiene education have a positive effect on the village community, decreasing the incidence of preventable diseases and increasing the living standards of the people.
Written by: Razmaa Saboor