Deh Sabz resident complain of lack of welfare services
KABUL(PAN): Residents of Deh Sabz, a Kabul district 16 kilometres east of the Presidential Palace, on Thursday said that they had no access to healthcare centres, asphalted roads or clean drinking water.
Although there is good security, residents have faced several problems due to lack of government services. There are 46 villages in this eastern district, with an estimated population of 300,000, residents say.
They say they feel that the district does not belong to the capital city of Kabul; instead they feel like they are living in a remote district in southern Helmand province, one center of Taliban activity.
"The rich people will meet their needs by using private electric generators, but poor people have to use lanterns," Mohammad Ibrahim, a resident of the Torakhel village of the district, told Pajhwok Afghan News.
Most of the village’s 5,000 residents cannot afford to buy a lantern and fuel for it, he said, adding that although residents of this village had been supporting the Afghan government, the government had yet to solve their problems.
Lack of electricity is not the only problem. According to Abdul Majid, who operates a kiln, residents face several health problems, there are only four clinics in some parts of the district, and the doctors only work until noon.
All four clinics are closed at night, and people pay more money for cab fare than they pay for medicine, he said.
He said there are no public buses for the district to take the people to and from the city.
"We knocked on the doors of organizations and government institutions, but no steps have so far been taken," a tribal elder, Ibrahim, a resident of Khwaja Chasht village, said. Few teachers can afford taxi fare to the district, he said.
Another resident, Ihsanullah, a resident of Deh Yahya, said the Arzan Qimat area was further away from Kabul than the Deh Sabz district, and that district had all sorts of services. Meanwhile in his district, situated along Arzan Qimat-Kabul Highway, he said there were no facilities at all.
District chief Mohammad Rafiq Khugyani also confirmed the problems in the district, but said that plans for a major private development called New Kabul Town there meant that whatever road or clinic they tried to work on was canceled by the Presidential Palace.
On March 14, 2011, the executive chief of the project, Ghulam Sakhi Hasanzada, told reporters in a press conference that the master plan for the new capital had been approved by the cabinet in 2009.
New Kabul will be built over 740 square km between Kabul International Airport and Bagram airfield, and will be completed in 15 years, he said.
Regarding the lack of electricity, he said that project officials had talked to officials at Da Afghanistan Brishna Shirkat (DABS), and they will supply electricity to the district within the next month and a half.
Khugyani said that the district has about 14 schools—two girls’ high schools, two boys’ high schools, and the rest middle schools. He added that the schools had been facing a teacher shortage.
He said that because of teachers’ low salaries, they were unable to pay for transportation to work. Teachers were often taken to the schools in police vehicles, he said, but that was not the solution.
Regarding public health problems the district chief said that he had contacted the Ministry of Public Health, but ministry officials had told him in response that they planned to close one of the clinics.
The district chief also said that in addition to Deh Sabz’s health, education, and electricity problems, the district had been deprived of many welfare services.
The head of the Rural Rehabilitation and Development department, Abdurrab Noori, said on the other hand that 86 welfare projects had been approved for the district, and that work on 62 had already started and work on the rest will start as soon as possible.
He did not specify what the projects were but said that they would be implemented with the financial support of World Bank.
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