Dr. Nasimi, director of the Afghanistan and Central Asian Association, recently visited Puli Khumri in the Baghlan provence of Northern Afghanistan to officially open the fresh water well that the people of his hometown built using funds raised by the ACAA and their volunteers.
Dr Nasimi cutting the ribbon at the opening ceremony
The people of Puli Khumri, according to Dr Nasimi, “rely on the river – which is unclean and unhygienic. The people are not capable of doing anything to access clean water apart from building wells. However, only the well-off can afford to build wells.”
With the aid of donations, however, that have been generously given through fundraising events in England (visit here to read about and see the photos from one of the fundraisers that we held in Norfolk – a tiny county in England filled with wonderful people) the ACAA have been able to build one well with a second in the pipeline guaranteeing a source of fresh waster for all of those in need.
To put into perspective the urgency for fresh water in Afghanistan’s rural towns, according to unicef.org, just 39% of the rural population in Afghanistan have access to fresh water. In 2014, as recorded by the World Bank, the population of rural Afghanistan totalled 23,315,165, giving an average of over 14 million people, every day people like you and I, who do not have access to clean water.
This is the equivalent of over four times the population of Wales going without fresh water – almost impossible to imagine. 14 million people is hard to imagine as anything but a number when you haven’t visited the people yourself. It is with hope that by seeing the people of Puli Khumri in these photos, taken on the day that the well was launched, we will be able to view 14 million people as real people genuinely going without water, rather than just an almost incomprehensible number on a screen.
Locals attending the ceremony
The well in use in Puli Khumri
The ACAA has now not only provided the town with consistent fresh water, but continues to successfully operate a Citizens Advice Centre in Puli Khumri and Kabul, and has done since July 2013.
Funded by the UK government, the centre provides free, impartial, and confidential advice to help empower those more vulnerable and less able to access their human rights. This includes, but is not exclusive to, women, young people, internally displaced people and returnees. If you know of anyone who would benefit from these services in Puli Khumri and Kabul, as well as in London, then please pass on the details of the ACAA.
If you would like to find out more about the project, the organisation, upcoming fundraisers, or would like to donate to this cause, then please contact firstname.lastname@example.org, or email@example.com.