Samangan residents seek water, health and transport facilities
AIBAK (Pajhwok): Thousands of families from 100 villages of Dara-i-Suf Payeen district in northern Samangan province have been faced with a shortage of clean drinking water, health and transportation facilities.
The inhabitants of Kohistan Maqud, Serki, Bayanan, Lababi and Daikundi localities want the authorities to provide them with elemental civic amenities. They reminded unity government leaders of their campaign promises, which are yet to be kept.
Noorullah, 44, a resident of Kata Qaq area, said the dwellers of this locality stored snow and rainwater and used it for drinking, because there was no natural stream in the area. Kunda -- kind of water storage inside a rock -- is popular with the local populace.
Noorullah grumbled there was no more rain, so little water could be stored in Kunda and people were faced with an acute shortage of drinking water. There were no other sources to get water from, he said, adding some families had left the village, where only the rain-fed wheat crop could be cultivated.
Noorullah asked the provincial government to take immediate steps to address the issue of these villages. If no remedial measures were taken urgently, the villagers would have to leave their home and hearth, he warned.
Abdul Rauf, 47, from Damki village, lamented: “We can’t regularly wash our hands and face in the morning due to lack of water.”
Shah Jahan, 33, said the road, connecting Dara-i-Sauf with Hazrat Sultan, was in dilapidated conditions and asked the government to rehabilitate it. He also complained of high transport fares, saying in case of emergency they had to pay heavily for transporting patients from the village to Aibak, the provincial capital, for treatment.
“You have to pay 6,000 afghanis jus for 100 kilometres distance to evacuate you patient to the hospital in Aibak,” he explained.
Mohammad Ibrahim, a former rebel who has just joined the reconciliation process, said residents suffered from lack of drinking water, transportation and health facilities. Residents have to walk two to five hours to reach a clinic. He asked government officials to address the issues.
Mohammad Rafe, hailing from Tawba Kunda neighbourhood, claimed 180 families lived in his locality, where there was no school. He said most people did not send their children to school because of the distance factor.
Education Director Syed Abdul Qader acknowledged issues facing the vital sector. He said the areas had been under militants’ control in the past and two month earlier the government established its writ there.
He said 19 schools existed in Dara-i-Sauf. Only one school in Zerki Aimaq village is closed due to insecurity. Qader added 20 percent of teachers at these schools were professional, with the remaining 80 percent serving on a contract basis.
Governor Mohammad Hashim Zare earlier visited the area after the villages were retaken from rebels, most of whom have joined the reconciliation process. He asked the residents to write down their problems and send them to his office.
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