Winning hearts and minds with water and roads
KUNAR, Afghanistan, July 13, 2009 -- In eastern Afghanistan, near the border with Pakistan, infrastructure is poor and many villages lack good roads, access to clean water, and other basic necessities...
• USAID and U.S. Forces are working together to ensure that Afghan citizens receive the development assistance that they need to improve their livelihoods and quality of life
|Villagers gather around tap in Nawa Village, Kunar Province, Afghanistan.|
In Nawa village in Sirkani District of Kunar Province, this means conducting both large infrastructure projects -- like building roads that will decrease travel times and allow farmers to bring their crops to market -- as well as small infrastructure projects like a gravity-powered water tank and faucet system. Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) Kunar is building a road passing by Nawa to the border with Pakistan, and USAID is following the road with development projects, such as installing running water taps.
Nawa village is large and terraced farmland separates the homes. To provide running water for the entire population -- approximately 200 households -- USAID installed 46 water taps throughout the village using over 15 km of pipe. The water flows from a new 40 cubic meter (10,566 gallon) tank that sits over a natural spring. Gravity carries the water to the taps in the village.
|Children in Nawa village in Kunar province collect water from a new tap installed by USAID. Photo: USAID/LGCD.|
Although Nawa village is in an insecure area, villagers held a ceremony celebrating the water taps. Children gleefully filled their water containers and village elders were grateful to the U.S. Government for providing easy access to such a vital resource. Coordinated development efforts truly make a difference in the lives of Afghans and are contributing to improved peace and security in the country.