Lack of access to safe drinking water and health services has been an immense challenge in Afghanistan, especially in rural areas, where people have to walk kilometers to fetch clean water.
In recent months, Afghanistan has been experiencing a severe Acute Watery Diarrheal (AWD) disease outbreak causing serious illness and even death among affected people. According to the latest Infectious disease outbreaks situation report published by World Health Organization (WHO), more than 1,18,000 cases of AWD have been recorded so far in the country while the disease has taken the lives of 37 Afghans in 34 provinces.
According to the report, Ghazni province in southeastern Afghanistan has experienced more than 1000 cases of AWD as of 13th August, due to using contaminated water from streams.
To help improve access to safe water in the province, DACAAR has been rehabilitating non-functional water sources (tube wells and pipe scheme networks) in Qarabagh district of Ghazni province.
In addition to providing safe drinking water, distribution of hygiene kits, conveying of hygiene messages, and construction of latrines in the area are implemented as part of the project.
Ghulam Nabi, a 58 years old beneficiary in Mulakhail village of Qarabagh district says that after receiving hygiene messages he now knows how to consider health guidelines and apply them to daily life to prevent/treat diseases in his family.
"My family and are now used to washing our hands daily with soap and making use of other hygiene kits items. I believe, this together with the clean drinking water provided by DACAAR, diseases have decreased by 90 percent in my family." affirms Ghulam Nabi.
He further states: "DACAAR rehabilitated the hand pump, that pedestrians and community members can use regularly. The project has made a sustainable change in our live, which means better health and a better life."
Residents of Qarabagh are pleased to have access to clean water and getting informed about good hygiene practice. They thank DACCAR for the support.
The beneficiaries emphasize that they are determined to create a health committee for their village through which they can share hygiene messages with others, assist in the maintenance of water points and work towards elimination of diseases, in order to improve the health of the community and prevent loss of productivity and resources due to water-borne diseases.
The project, funded by the Bureau of Humanitarian Assistance (BHA), USAID is implemented in a consortium together with PU-AMI and INTERSOS in 8 provinces of Afghanistan. In Ghazni province, the project includes rehabilitation of 50 hand pumps and improvement of WASH facilities in four local clinics in three districts.
DACAAR is committed to constructing and rehabilitating more water resources and providing hygiene and sanitation facilities to communities in need, as recommended by beneficiaries especially taking care of the needs and concerns of women, children and others with special needs.
Written by: Palwasha Azim