Afgans: Paradise is elsewhere

February 18, 2013 02:12 0 comments

Some of the many hardships suffered by the residents in the Central Asian country include a lack of water and basic services as well as non-existent education and a risk of dying in public places.

.

 

Armando Reyes

.

One of the greatest controversies in Afghanistan is the lack of something as precious as drinking water. Although Mother Nature, according to experts, provided the region with a sufficient supply, the lack of infrastructure and the current political situation forces many people to live in the middle of a desert.

Unofficial statistics claim that nearly 73 per cent of the Afghan population lacks access to a water supply, while 95 per cent don’t have basic sanitation.  As a direct result, diarrheal diseases claim the lives of more than 48, 500 children each year.

This is a chronic problem in rural areas and in most cities, including the capital, Kabul, where only 25 per cent of its residents, according to reports, enjoy sterilised water.

Most Afghans are required to get their water from open-air sources such as rivers, springs, streams, ponds and wells. Most of these are contaminated by either defecation, lack of sanitation or the presence of infected animals.

The Central Asian country provides 2,775 cubic metres of water per habitant every year while an estimated 1,700 metres would be sufficient to meet domestic and industrial needs and energy production, without affecting the ecological balance.

Health

A survey, conducted in 2012 by the United National Consolidation Campaign, found that one in seven thousand Afghans is a health worker.  The shortage of teachers is also evident, with one male teacher for every 101 students and one female teacher for every 344 students.

The results of a survey undertaken in 2010 indicate that little more than 57% of the Afghan population lives within an hour’s travel of a public health centre.

The Afghan government has promised to boost its Millennium Development Objectives in 2014, which include increasing access to drinkable water from 27% to 50% and raising the possibility of adequate health for the inhabitants from 5 to 50 percentage points.  They plan on extending this coverage to the entire population by 2020.

However, unplanned development of cities, lack of sanitation, migration to urban areas, coupled with social and political instability and the internal conflict, suggest the government’s plans are just empty promises.

The non-governmental organisation, Consumer Service Rights, urged the Government and international organizations to work for the development and implementation of a comprehensive health policy, collaboration between sectors and the inclusion of communities in the crusade to improve living conditions.  Access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation is a fundamental right of Afghan citizens, but many continue living without it.

Mines of death

 

Another of the hardships suffered by the Afghans is the spread of explosive devices, planted or forgotten about, that are distributed throughout the region.

In the current state of internal conflict, the occupants of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), and the local Army, use landmines as much as the armed opposition, to limit each other’s movements.

The reality is that, since the invasion and occupation of the Asian country, U.S. bombing has deposited five thousand unexploded cluster bombs.

The researcher, Mark Hiznay, has said that these devices have become anti-personnel landmines that represent an extreme danger to the civilian population, and will continue to do so for the coming years.The war has caused physical and mental disabilities for about 800,000 Afghans, who do not have jobs, are illiterate and lack adequate medical care.  Recent surveys suggest that one in five households in Afghanistan has an occupant with a physical or mental limitation.

Armed opposition also place ingenious explosives in streets where members of the ISAF occupying force frequently travel or commit suicide by exploding charges that they carry on their bodies.

This style of combat, as well as causing casualties, adds a psychological element that causes a state of paranoia and fear and prevents the military from acting objectively.

The spread of deadly devices has whetted the appetites of a number of companies engaged in bomb disposal, such as Sterling Global Operations, whose management has claimed, that within a few weeks, they had made ​​a profit of about $30 million from demining.

(Translated by  Colin Tarbat)

Share it / Compartir:

Leave a Reply


*



The Prisma News

  • Comments, In Focus, Needle's Eye The better angels of our nature?

    The better angels of our nature?

    Is violence decreasing worldwide? This is the question addressed by Steven Pinker (professor of psychology, Harvard), to which he answers a resounding, albeit qualified, 800 page ‘Yes!’   Nigel Pocock   For hundreds of years violence has been dropping, even if there are huge spikes in...

    Read more →
  • Culture, Screen Franco Lolli and his “Gente de bien”

    Franco Lolli and his “Gente de bien”

    This is his first feature and it is premiering in the UK. The picture participated in the Cannes Film Festival and is part of an emerging wave of Colombian film.     Virginia Moreno Molina   The story has managed to draw attention to Latin America and, more specifically, to Colombia. It is...

    Read more →
  • Comments, In Focus The US is coming for the homeland of Bolivar!

    The US is coming for the homeland of Bolivar!

    Let’s begin by saying that the US is not coming only for the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, they are coming for the whole land. For the entire continent. This is its visible need to recover what it considers itself to be losing. It is to secure the territory in order to protect its political, economic...

    Read more →
  • Comments, EdgeNotes, In Focus Inherent vice

    Inherent vice

    Based on Thomas Pynchon’s 2009 novel of the same name   a film noir set at the tail-end of the 1960s counterculture, as drugs replace booze as the drug of choice.   Steve Latham*   In this dissection of the Californian hippy fantasy Joaquin Phoenix plays the central character Doc Sportello,...

    Read more →
  • Comments, Globe, In Focus, Latin America Mining and Misery: two similar words

    Mining and Misery: two similar words

    “Music of the geography of our beautiful country, Colombia” is a phrase that is broadcast daily by a classical station in Bogota, announcing one of its musical programmes. What the producers don’t know, or don’t say, is that this beautiful country with its geography is on the brink of disappearing....

    Read more →
  • Culture, Globe, Listings, Screen, United Kingdom Sons of Cuba

    Sons of Cuba

     This documentary follows the lives of three Cuban boys at the Havana boxing academy as they undergo a tough training regime in the hope of winning the under-12’s national boxing championship. The film is showing on the 18th April in London.   Ever since the revolution in 1959 sport has been seen...

    Read more →
  • Comments, In Focus Dialogue in representative democracy

    Dialogue in representative democracy

    An acquaintance from my neighbourhood had had a recent operation, when my partner found her in the local shop. Everything had gone well while in the hospital, our neighbour asserted, even the fact that she “shared a room with a white woman”.        Mabel Encinas   My partner was shocked...

    Read more →
  • Comments, EdgeNotes, In Focus Black irony

    Black irony

    The Black Cultural Archives in Brixton are based in the renovated historic Raleigh House. Opened in 2014, the Archives are an important centre for African and Caribbean pride and self-identity.   Steve Latham   An assertion of worth in the face of a hostile host culture, the holdings include vast...

    Read more →
  • Comments, In Focus The bull that became a civil servant

    The bull that became a civil servant

    Based on a story that I have been hearing these days, of the unfulfillment and absence of some civil servants before their commitment to the community.   Photo by Davide Baraldi – fotocommunity.it/pc/pc/display/22800761 John Elvis Vera S.   Once upon a time, in an isolated village, a...

    Read more →
  • Comments, Critical Dialogues, In Focus, Migrants, Multiculture Elections: ¿Forging the Latino  vote in the United Kingdom?

    Elections: ¿Forging the Latino vote in the United Kingdom?

    The contribution of Latin immigrants will not be complete without their participation and adequate representation within the British political system.   Claudio Chipana *   The UK general election, scheduled for May 7th, 2015, is fast approaching. Political parties are currently honing their...

    Read more →
  • Culture, Globe, Listings, Multiculture, Our People, Pages, United Kingdom Mexico, the lead at the London Book Fair

    Mexico, the lead at the London Book Fair

    On the occasion of the Dual Year between the Latin American country and the United Kingdom, Mexican cultural representatives will visit the capital of Great Britain.   At the beginning of the year, the cultural exchange between Mexico and the UK began. The year 2015 has been named “The year of...

    Read more →
  • Comments, EdgeNotes, In Focus Interstellar: saving the Earth

    Interstellar: saving the Earth

    A real sci-fi blockbuster, directed by Christopher Nolan and starring Matthew McConaughey, Interstellar is a delight to the eyes and ears.   Steve Latham   The cinematography and the special effects are outstanding and awesome. They really take you to a far-off place outside the known universe. The...

    Read more →
  • Comments, In Focus McCarthy’s shadow over Venezuela

    McCarthy’s shadow over Venezuela

    The hours are counted, the minutes are counted, and we must not allow this crime against humanity to be carried out. – Pablo Picasso.   Ethel and Julius Rosenberg Armando Orozco Tovar   The USAmerican Jewish couple Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were accused of spying for the USSR, and sentenced...

    Read more →
  • Culture, Globe, Latin America, Music Mexico pays tribute to Morrissey

    Mexico pays tribute to Morrissey

    Mexrrissey is a new band inspired by the songs of the ex-vocalist of The Smiths. They will be touring England between the 25th of April and the 1st of May.   The group of Mexican musicians is led by Camilo Lara from the Instituto Mexicano del Sonido and Sergio Mendoza, from Orkesta Mendoza/Calexico....

    Read more →
  • Culture, Globe, Screen, United Kingdom “Wild Tales”: dark humour and social frustration

    “Wild Tales”: dark humour and social frustration

    Directed by Damián Szifrón, this film tells six independent stories set in Latin America, all with converging plots, fun and violence.   Juanjo Andrés Cuervo   Recently released in the UK, this Argentine cinematic production shows how characters are incapable of controlling their impulses...

    Read more →
  • Culture, Globe, Latin America, Listings, Screen, Struggles, Workers The war against democracy

    The war against democracy

    This is the title of a documentary directed by Australian reporter, John Pilger, that exposes the long history of interventionism by the United States in Latin American countries. The majority of the subject matter revolves around the failed coup d’etat in 2002 against President Hugo Chavez. The film...

    Read more →
  • Culture, Listings, Migrants, Multiculture, On Stage Circolombia returns to London

    Circolombia returns to London

    Following the success of their 2011 show ‘Urban’, the Colombian circus company returns to the UK from the 14th April to 3rd May for their new show ‘Acelere’.   With fourteen of the country’s most prominent circus performers, the new show draws is inspired by Colombia’s rich diversity of...

    Read more →
  • Comments, EdgeNotes, In Focus London on speed

    London on speed

    The drug-related language – London ‘on speed’, the ‘rush’ of city life – is deliberate. Like an addiction, the speeded-up, souped-up urban lifestyle sweeps us along in a hectic race.   Steve Latham   James Gleick wrote his book, “Faster”, on the topic; and French...

    Read more →
  • Comments, In Focus Carlos Arango: a true journalist

    Carlos Arango: a true journalist

    Gran told me about my father’s childhood. She recalled how as a child, he took lunch to the workers on the Antioquia Railway.   Armando Orozco Tovar   Carlos Arango Z was his name and he started working at just six-years-old to help support his family. From Tulúa, in the Cauca Valley to...

    Read more →
  • Culture, Visual Arts Van Gogh: fury, genius and pain

    Van Gogh: fury, genius and pain

    The certainty that Montmajour at Sunset was painted by the Dutchman Vincent Van Gogh Dutch revives the madness that the unique viewpoint of this artistic genius always produces.    Frade Ibis Brito   In fact, the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam has announced to the world the discovery of this new work...

    Read more →