In Afghanistan, villages in the most rural and hard-to-reach areas are in dire need of WASH support because they lack access to clean water, sanitation facilities and hygiene items. Among these areas, include Alishing district in Laghman province where people suffer daily because of these issues.
Thanks to funding from the Afghanistan Humanitarian Fund (AHF), DACAAR is implementing a project in the district to rehabilitate water points, provide hygiene education sessions and distribute hygiene kits.
Fazlullah is 60 years old and lives in Alishing. He is the head of a family of seven people. His family was in need of support because they were getting sick very often due to the use of unsafe water and because of the lack of hygiene awareness and items.
DACAAR has rehabilitated a community well which was non-functional due to lack of proper operation and maintenance in their community and to ensure future operation and maintenance of the well, DACAAR established a water user group and trained the community mechanic and a caretaker in the target communities. To enhance hygiene behaviour change, DACAAR provided three rounds of hygiene awareness sessions to the community members with major topics included but not limited to environmental hygiene, personal hygiene, proper handwashing with soap, safe handling of drinking water, keeping food safe, prevention and treatment of diarrhea and COVID-19 risk information and importance of being vaccinated. As a result of DACAAR interventions, the situation has drastically improved.
Fazulallah said "Fortunately, DACAAR staff came to our village, rehabilitated the non-functional well, hence now we can access safe drinking water and because of it our children are not continually sick anymore."
Communities in hard-to-reach areas often find it difficult to raise money to repair water points once they break down. Similarly, a lack of sufficient and continuous income means that they prioritize food over hygiene items which often meant that family members became ill. Mr. Fazlullah currently makes an average monthly income of AFN 10,000 from his farming business most of which he used to spend on food stuff for the family.
"We did not know that our health was mainly affected due to drinking unsafe water or having poor hygiene. Thanks to DACAAR for providing a durable solution to our problem. Now all the people have access to safe drinking water and awareness about hygiene. By expending small amounts to buy basic hygiene consumables (e.g. hand washing soap, laundry soap, toothpaste) we are now saving on hospital bills, and this has contributed significantly to the family wellbeing not only health wise but also economy wise," said Fazlullah.
"Fortunately, DACAAR staff came to our village, rehabilitated the non-functional well, hence now we can access safe drinking water and because of it our children are not continually sick anymore"-Fazlullah, Laghman Province