Afghans have been affected by conflicts and natural disasters for several decades often forcing them into displacement. Once displaced, they face additional obstacles to having a dignified and stable life. One particular obstacle faced by displaced persons is lack of access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene. As per USAID annual report 2020, in Afghanistan, only 42% of Afghans have access to safe drinking water, and 27% of the rural population have access to sanitation facilities, causing vector-borne diseases, such as diarrhea, that claim the lives of an estimated 85,000 Afghan children, under the age of five, annually.
Sadly, in Kabul environs children have to travel several kilometers to fetch water for their family, “I have to travel from Logaryano to Mula-Khil village almost 9 KMs to collect safe water for my family and most of the time I do not succeed to get water”. said Abdul Basit a child residing in Logaryano village, “I have to travel during the day to fetch water because in the evening there are many threats like street dogs and thieves.” added Abdul Basit.
In March 2020, DACAAR with funding from DANIDA-ROI, in coordination with the Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation and Development (MRRD), conducted a WASH needs assessment in the different villages in the outskirts of Kabul city. Consequently, DACAAR selected 3 vulnerable communities (Qala-i- Rustam, Logaryano and Shakir Ahmad) for implementing water supply projects. These villages are located in the underserved rural outskirts of Kabul city, villagers had no access to safe water and suffered a lot from water-borne diseases.
DACAAR constructed 3 water supply networks supported with solar systems and household connections in PD19 (Qala-e-Rustam), PD21 (Logaryano and Shakir Ahmad) in Kabul province. For each community supported by safe water supply, DACAAR also disseminated hygiene and sanitation awareness to 5,870 populations (reaching 52% females and 58% children).
The availability of safe drinking water on the premises, made great impressions on beneficiaries and solved their WASH related problems.
“No more worry about fetching and bringing water from far away, we now have clean water on our premises, thanks to DACAAR for putting a tab in our house that we get enough water for drinking, cooking and other needs of the family, no more time is wasted for getting water” Said Abdul Basit.
“We get safe water from the tap constructed in our yards, the quality and quantity of water is very good plus our village and homes are now clean because the village now has trained natural leaders giving hygiene and sanitation awareness for our people and even myself received hygiene education and consultation in improving our latrine. The pipe scheme constructed in our village looks like a magical thing for us, it is a durable solution for our water and hygiene needs,”Gull Bi Bi, a beneficiary of Qala-e-Rustam water supply project in Kabul.
During cutting the ribbon in Logaryano village, Engineer Awal Khan Ahmadzai Head of Kabul Provincial Rural Rehabilitation and Development (PRRD) expressed the satisfaction of his department regarding the project quality and timeliness in meeting the needs of the selected communities.
“DACAAR used different technologies such as a gravity fit water supply systems, tubes well fitted with hand pumps, motorized pipe schemes and solar-powered water supplies, based on the needs and opportunities on the ground.” added engineer Abdul Wasi, DACAAR Senior Design Engineer.
By providing safe water and delivering hygiene messages, DACAAR aims at improving life-conditions of the Afghan people, focusing especially on underserved communities in peri-urban and rural areas.
Photography and Written by: Razmaa Saboor