DACAAR provides emergency WASH assistance to drought and conflict-affected communities in Afghanistan
In a remote village in Kandahar, a hot and dry province in southern Afghanistan, Gul Mohammad carries a heavy water barrel with the help of his 9 years old son. They had to travel to another village to collect the water for use in their household. The road is long, dusty, and dangerous and they have to take a break every few minutes.
Gul Mohammad, 40 years old, had to leave his home in Spin Boldak district because of the violent conflict during the summer and move to Spin Zeyarat village with his five-member family. Like many other IDPs in his situation, he does not have access to safe drinking water and he does not have the right to drill a well or build his hand pump well due to the lack of resources and land rights.
In Spin Zeyarat many people are suffering from the second drought in four years, and water has become even more scarce. Most of the villagers do not have access to safe drinking water, forcing them to walk to other villages to fetch water. And, in Afghanistan, this is a duty performed by children or women, increasing their exposure to violence and harassment. The lack of clean water and hygiene measures is also the cause of the poor health conditions of the people, afflicted by water-borne diseases and other health issues.
“I was always concerned about my children’s health conditions because of lack of clean water and the need to send them to another village, instead of school, to get the water for us. In addition, the hand pumps are often broken because too many people use them and we do not know how to repair them properly”, says Gul Mohammad.
“Many people left Spin Zeyarat because there were no clean water sources in the area. However, I still remember the sunny day in September 2021, when DACAAR’ team visited the village and rehabilitated the broken hand pumps. All the villagers felt relieved and happy because now we could finally access clean water in our own village”, adds Gul Mohammad.
Rehabilitated hand pump in Spin Zeyarat village, Kandahar city
DACAAR, thanks to funding from AHF (Afghanistan Humanitarian Fund) has rehabilitated many broken hand pumps in different districts in Kandahar. To ensure long-term impact and empower the communities, DACAAR also provided them training on maintenance and operations of the wells in addition to hygiene education.
DACAAR hygiene promoters disseminate hygiene education awareness focusing on proper handwashing
By providing safe water and delivering hygiene messages, DACAAR aims at improving the living conditions of the Afghan people, focusing especially on underserved communities in peri-urban and rural areas. This has become even more crucial because of the impact of COVID 19 and AWD in the country. Proper hygiene and clean water are the first line of defense against the spread of diseases and to help reduce pressure on the local health institutions.
Written by: Razmaa Saboor
Contribution: Irshad Alamyar