Thousands of families in Baghlan struggle for access to safe drinking water

Residents of Baghlan-e-Markazi and Dahana-i-Ghori districts in northern Baghlan province are facing lack of access to safe drinking water, leading to viral diseases among the communities.

According to local residents, the shortage of clean water affects villages such as Dashtak, Sholughtu, Kampirak, Dasht Gabr, and Bay Saqal.

For the past two years, Abdul Basir from Dahana-i-Ghori district has been grappling with water scarcity due to a drought that has severely threatened the lives of hundreds of families.  

Ghulam Haidar, a resident of Baghlan-e-Markazi district, shares a similar plight, with his family members falling ill as a result of using unsanitary water.

The affected residents are urging local Taliban officials to take action and resolve the pressing issue of drinking water. They also seek assistance from aid organizations to address the crisis.

The head of the Taliban’s Rural Rehabilitation and Development Directorate in Baghlan, Abdul Wahid Obaidah has collaborated with a donor organization to initiate the construction of 45 semi-deep wells and two water supply networks in Baghlan-e-Markazi, Doshi, Dahana-i-Ghori, and Pol-e-Khomri districts. According to him, this US$139,000 project aims to provide clean water access to over six thousand families in the region.

The lack of safe drinking water is not limited to Baghlan province alone. The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) recently reported that the number of families facing water shortages in Afghanistan increased from 48% in 2021 to 60% in 2022. According to the organization, the situation is expected to worsen due to climate change.

UNOCHA estimates that approximately US$479.4 million will be required in 2023 to address the water and wastewater crisis across Afghanistan.