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The Qatar Red Crescent – Afghanistan Mission

Afghanistan 2017
Foundation name: Qatar Red Crescent Office – Afghanistan, Afghan Charitable Educational Foundation
Project Name: Provision of surface drinking water and artesian wells in south and south east Afghanistan.
Project start date: April 30, 2016
Project end date: October 31, 2017
Project location: Provinces of Kandahar, Helmand, Uruzgan, Zabul, Ghazni, Paktia, Paktika and Wardak in Afghanistan
Project budget: $400,0000

1. Main goal and secondary goals of the project:

The project aims at contributing to the improvement of the health situation of residents in remote and disadvantaged areas by reducing the spread of diseases and epidemics resulting from the use of polluted or impure water, and improving the living conditions by improving the job opportunities in agriculture and the economic recovery of the population through:

1- Providing long-term drinking water to more than 1,000 beneficiary family at least (7,000 individuals).
2- Providing sufficient irrigation water to cover approximately 4,000,000 square meters of lands and agricultural fields.

2. Accomplishments:

- Drilling 100 water wells with manual pumps in needy and remote areas in 11 districts in seven targeted provinces to provide clean drinking water on the long term for around 1,275 needy families in remote and disadvantaged areas. 
- Drilling 20 irrigation artesian wells with a solar-powered pump providing irrigation water for 4 million square meters of agricultural lands in 16 districts in seven targeted provinces. This will revive the agricultural field, improve the living and nutritional situation and contribute to providing employment opportunities for dozens of families and individuals in the targeted areas.
- Due to the multiple aspects and elements of intervention in the project activities and requirements such as the purchase of materials and equipment, drilling and leveling works and the like, the project provided diverse employment opportunities for many individuals in the areas where the intervention occurred.
- Ability to access difficult, disadvantaged and highly-needy areas - drawing on the Foundation’s experience and ability to coordinate with the official and community bodies in the targeted areas.
- The execution of the project through partnership and coordination with the bodies concerned (Ministry of Rural Development and Rehabilitation and the Ministry of Agriculture, and their offices in the provinces) enabled the implementation of the work according to the specifications and standard parameters of these bodies. It also strengthened their functions and role in providing these basic services to the population within their administrative responsibilities.
- Promoting the spirit of community participation through community committees that oversee the use and preservation of these wells and organize the community’s participation in the operation and maintenance of these wells, when needed, considering they are a collective interest.
- Multiplicity of provinces (seven), districts and targeted areas (16) expanded the definition of the activities of the Qatar Red Crescent and its humanitarian interventions to serve the Afghan people in different areas.

1. Beneficiaries

3. Results/Impacts of the Project’s Interventions:

- Execution of all the Project’s components and activities at 100% completion, as 100 wells were drilled and installed with manual pumps, and 20 irrigation working on solar-powered pumps in seven targeted provinces.
- Provision of pure drinking water to more than 1275 of the residents of remote and disadvantaged areas contributing to alleviating their suffering and improving the health situation by reducing and limiting diseases resulting from the use of impure polluted water.

- Assisting in improving the lifestyle of the population in these remote and disadvantaged areas by providing irrigation water, encouraging the residents to practice agriculture then creating job opportunities and diversifying agricultural crops, which in turn would lead to the diversification and provision of the main food requirements and contribute to the treatment of malnutrition diseases, especially among women and children.
- Alleviating hardship and saving time and effort for the population by facilitating access to clean and potable water in sufficient quantities, then exploiting the available time for children in education and revision of homework, and for the adults in other duties and family responsibilities and in taking care of the children.
- Access to difficult and remote areas and provision of basic services promotes the infrastructure of these areas and contribute to reducing the development gap between rural and urban areas.
- Supporting the official efforts of the State and the bodies concerned in improving the general indexes and long-term development efforts of the country especially in these areas which are a real challenge for official bodies and their supporting organizations – especially with the scarcity of the Government’s resources. This contributes to the development of the community and to mitigating the intensity of conflicts.
- The coordination mechanism and working with the relevant official bodies at the centralized level (ministries) and province level (offices) both by the Foundation as an executing partner or the Qatar Red Crescent as a support, contributed to strengthening confidence with these bodies and gave room for future work with them whether in the same provinces or in other provinces.
- Enhancing the spirit of ownership in the community by involving it in all stages of the project and then activating its role in maintaining these projects and interventions and ensuring the continuity of services through maintenance and restoration works whenever required.
- Reflecting the genuine humanitarian and development orientation of the Qatar Red Crescent in the official and community bodies by adopting and supporting projects and interventions that are closely connected to the needs of the communities, meet the directions and strategies of the concerned bodies and involve the community in all stages of execution.
- The project is an opportunity to strengthen and build the capacity of the partner (Afghanistan Educational Charitable Foundation) as a local organization, enabling it to contribute to the development work in Afghanistan in various fields, especially in the field of water and sanitation.

4. Success Stories

- Being able to execute the project in these remote, disadvantaged and hard-to-reach areas despite all the challenges and difficulties and providing clean drinking water and irrigation water to over 1275 families in these areas and the resulting improvement in the health and living situation and the lifestyle in general for the population. This will positively reflect on the development of these areas especially with what the relevant reports confirm that only 65% of Afghan people have clean drinking water. This percentage can reach 30% only in some of the provinces and areas of the south. 10.2 to 10.5% of deaths among residents are due to water-borne illnesses, and as the project targets areas in the provinces of the south and south east, this is considered a general success story for the project and its intervention in these areas.
- Zarghun area in Nad Ali district in Helmand province is one of the remote areas with rare presence of institutions or any supporting authorities as it is under the control of anti-government parties. In one of the supervisory field visits of the water and reform coordinator to the area, he met a child of around 6 years of age near one of the houses in the village; he called him asking him to come near to him, so he could ask him questions. The child replied: “Have you come to slaughter us?!” The coordinator was startled at these words but then realized that people in these areas, including children, are not used to anyone coming to talk about other providing help to the needy, but are used to the sounds of bullets and missiles in the confrontations between the Government and the area residents. Most of the people in this area brought water from a far place in an often risky process, but now they get pure water easily, smoothly and safely through the manual pump water well provided by the project in this village and many of the other villages with similar situations and conditions. They are grateful and very thankful for the Qatar Red Crescent and the Foundation and whoever had a part and role in their valuable and important assistance.
- Ali Shah Kheil village is one of the villages of Zermatt district in Paktia province. It is about 15 kilometers away from the district center. Upon visiting the village for supervision and follow-up of the project’s activities and the work of the wells, and upon meeting with some heads of households, they were asked: “How did you get water before the drilling of this well in your village?” They replied that they crossed long distances and used donkeys to reach the location of the spring. The population suffered because of that, especially women and in particular during winter days with the cold climate. Moreover, water was often not made available in quantities sufficient for the multiple uses of families. They now feel comfortable and assured because the water well is near them and is available at any time for them and with the quantities they need. They are very grateful for the Qatar Red Cross and the Foundation asking for God’s blessings upon them.

5. General Information

6. Main goal and secondary goals of the project:

The project aims in general at improving the education environment to increase the number of enrolled male and female students in all education stages in schools in remote areas in Afghanistan, by achieving the following secondary goals:
1. Providing the basic educational requirements such as tents, chairs, educational curricula and educational materials.
2. Supporting the improvement of the education environment in remote areas and making them attractive to male and female students.
3. Encouraging education and reducing school dropout rates in the targeted areas.
4. Raising awareness on the importance of education and strengthening the community participation in supporting the educational process through sessions and awareness campaigns for teachers, leaders and members of the community in the targeted areas.

7. Accomplishments:

- Meeting needs such as the basic educational material and requirements for a number of schools in hard-to-reach areas which are in dire need for this assistance and have never received any similar assistance from official authorities or organizations – this largely contributes to encouraging education in these remote and disadvantaged areas for both males and females and is considered a qualitative contribution to the development of these areas on the long term. 

- Provision of educational and academic materials and supplies for 4083 male and female students in different academic stages in 12 schools in 3 provinces as the following materials and requirements were provided: 99 tents, 1434 double school chairs, 31,577 schoolbooks in accordance with the school curriculum accredited by the Ministry of Education, 4,083 school bags and kits of school materials. Provision of assisting and clarifying materials such as blackboards, maps and paintings to around 100 classrooms in different stages. Provision of 6 projectors to 6 schools. Provision of 12 metal containers to 12 schools as storage for books, documents and school materials; in addition to holding awareness sessions on the community’s participation in education and the importance of teaching girls, targeting more than 600 teachers and members of the parents’ councils and community councils.

- Improving the school environment in 12 schools and areas and making them attractive to male and female students and encouraging for the parents to contribute to raising enrollment rates and reducing school dropout rates.

- Raising the community’s awareness in the context of the targeted schools on the importance of teaching and educating girls and the community’s role in strengthening the educational process.

- The project was an example of productive partnership and constructive coordination whether through the execution partnership between the Qatar Red Cross and the Afghan Charitable Association, or through communication and coordination channels adopted by the Association with the community authorities in the targeted areas; this produced good results and achieved great success in targeting remote and hard-to-reach areas and facilitating access of materials and aids to them, in addition to achieving results which surpassed all expectations in the project proposal, as 4,083 male and female students benefited from the project instead of 2,835 students, and 99 tents were provided as classrooms instead of 69 tents, and schools were provided with 12 metal containers to meet the urgent need for them as storage and they were not originally included in the project proposal.

8. Beneficiaries

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