Afghanistan: “Need for Food and Wood” in Settlements of Kabul

Kabul, 12. December 2017

Kabul is surrounded by dozens of informal settlements. According to estimates, they host about 65,000 people, mainly internally displaced persons who came from different parts of the country in search of safety and better living conditions. There are no facilities in those Kabul Informal Settlements in basically all sectors. Therefore, clean water and waste management is a challenge as well as shelter, education and health.

Instead of attending school, Mariyam´s sons have to do rag picking to generate incomes for the family. ©Vijay R.

Mariyam lives with her three daughters and three sons in one of the dwelling in Sabzi Baghrami Camp 2. Her dwelling consists of a small compound and one room mud walled house. “There is no toilet in the compound and all defecate out. Women defecate only at nights”, explains Mariyam. Her husband and her family came to Kabul and settled in the camp due to conflict in their native village in Nangarhar province. Her husband was suspected of murder due to personal feud with their relatives and got arrested. Now, she sends her two boys to work on the street, mostly do rag picking. That is their major source of income to survive. She is entirely dependent on assistance.

Two Mayor Problems: "Hunger and Winter"

Zaidullah, IDP from Badakhshan

Zaidullah has been displaced from Badakhshan. He says that for all people in the settlements are two major problems for the forthcoming day – “hunger and winter”. Nobody has a clue on how they would cope up with them in this winter.  There was no major food stocks with them as they didn’t had much work during the summer and thus left with limited savings.

All the people had earnt, they are trying to invest in repairing their mud house for the winter. There is no money left to purchase food and wood."

"Every Year, 25 Children Die"

Sabzi Baghrami Camp 1: in Kabul exist more than 50 similar informal settlements. ©Vijay R.

Haji Mohammad Ibrahim is the representative or Malik for the entire IDP locations of Sabzi Baghrami Camp 1. He agrees with Zaidullah. In this camp there are about 900 displaced families, returnees from Pakistan and few economic migrants. He mentions that for the coming months, there is only need for “Food and Wood”.  Without that, the families are highly vulnerable and it is difficult to live. “Currently, adults are eating once per day and feeding children three times.  The days are not far, if there is no assistance, there will be more negative coping mechanisms like selling of some of their assets”, says Ibrahim. His colleague Moulavi Allah Dad, Malik of a neighboring camp, adds: “Without any winterization support it will be difficult to keep the room warm in the winters.  Every year, at least 25 children die in my camp of 600 families.”

Children are most vulnerable during winter season. ©Vijay R.

In October, Johanniter started a new project in Kabul, funded by German Federal Foreign Office. Since May 2017, all medical services inside KIS were shot down due to lack of money. Thus, Johanniter took over this task, managing two static as well as three mobile health facilities. While they are open and accessible to all, mother- and child–health is a particular focus. Immunization, ANC/ PNC as well as family planning and midwives for deliveries are available. A community based health care system will help to increase awareness in relation to hygiene, health related issues and nutrition. Additionally, a winterization support is scheduled for the next months - to avoid that many children die again because of winter cold and diseases.

Here you can find more information about our commitment in Afghanistan.

Bündnispartner der Johanniter: Aktion Deutschland hilft, Gemeinsam für Afrika, VENRO und DZI

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