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


*


× 5 = forty



The Prisma News

  • Comments, In Focus Palestine and our daughters and sons

    Palestine and our daughters and sons

    I wonder what effects the facts in Palestina have on our lives. The Gaza Strip is more than 3500 kilometres away from London (and over 12000 kilometres away from the Latin American region, where I am from), and still, the shocking facts cannot be ignored.   Mabel Encinas   Palestinian people...

    Read more →
  • Comments, In Focus Palestine… Imprisoned in the open air

    Palestine… Imprisoned in the open air

    The genocide committed against Palestine is reminiscent of the Napoleonic phrase: “God is on the side with the best artillery.” It hits/ your whip is daring/  it teaches us to be stubborn/ and of the contempt of the threats/ our destiny is transformed in/ resistance… (Palestinian poetry).   Armando...

    Read more →
  • Culture, Globe, Latin America, Listings, Screen Documentary captures the presidency of Hugo Chávez

    Documentary captures the presidency of Hugo Chávez

    On 29th July, the East London Venezuela Solidarity Campaign will be screening a short film entitled “Chávez”, in partnership with the coordinator of the movement.   Luis Castro’s documentary charts the transformation that Venezuela has undergone since Chávez was first elected to the presidency...

    Read more →
  • Culture, Music The story of how Lennon’s  strawberry fields came to be

    The story of how Lennon’s strawberry fields came to be

     The fact that John Lennon wrote ‘Strawberry Fields Forever’ in Almeria has been referred to before in historical accounts about the Beatles but the artist’s Spanish involvement went beyond this and  included some abortive projects such as the film that never was with bullfighter ‘El Cordobes’(the...

    Read more →
  • Comments, EdgeNotes, In Focus Money rules

    Money rules

    Society is being hollowed out by a set of non-values which are overwhelming ever other set of criteria for evaluating worth.   Steve Latham   F. S. Michaels’ book, “Monoculture. How one story is changing everything”, analyses the deep structure of our culture’s infatuation with wealth. It...

    Read more →
  • Culture, Listings, Screen The real drama is in the ‘corridor of death’

    The real drama is in the ‘corridor of death’

    The documentary film ‘Who is Dayani Cristal’ will premiere in British cinemas on July 25th, the story of a migrant whose body was found in this deadly area of desert.   The film is directed by Marc Silver and produced by Gael Garcia Bernal, and is based on real events. The film shows the arduous...

    Read more →
  • Culture, Listings, Pages Don Quijote rides into London

    Don Quijote rides into London

    “The Ingenious Gentleman Don Quijote de la Mancha”, a new play directed and performed by the company Little Soldiers, opens on 23rd July.   By Virginia Moreno Molina   The Little Soldiers company made its debut in London in 2010 with a piece entitled Pakita: Stimulating, Bitter, and Necessary....

    Read more →
  • Culture, Screen “Angola year Zero”: the Wild West of Africa & its identity

    “Angola year Zero”: the Wild West of Africa & its identity

    Huge changes have taken place in both Cuba and Angola especially since the collapse of the USSR in 1991. In both countries the sudden loss of Soviet support led to a crisis, and an increase in migration, out of Cuba and into Angola.   Director Ever Miranda Palacio Graham Douglas   Ever Miranda...

    Read more →
  • Comments, Globe, In Focus, Latin America Praise to forgetfulness

    Praise to forgetfulness

    Fanatical fans are from everywhere not only here in this country of crazy, violent, passionate people… without passion, they want to see themselves reflected in the heroic ball-playing characters, but the next day they still don’t agree on anything.   Armando Orozco Tovar   Forgetfullness...

    Read more →
  • Culture, Pages, Screen A debate: the new and the classic of Zed Books

    A debate: the new and the classic of Zed Books

    This publishing house will inaugurate their first “Open House” event on the 17th of July. It will allow people to find new books and take part in an open debate on various subjects.   Tony Phillips, author of “Europe on the Brink: debt, crisis and dissent in the European periphery”, will...

    Read more →
  • Comments, EdgeNotes, In Focus Playing with dragons

    Playing with dragons

    How do we fill that vast expanse of empty time during the post-university phase of early adult life, before working out what to do with the rest of our lives?   Steve Latham   We drift through endless days, unsure of our purpose, attempting to fill the hours with something, anything, while we cogitate...

    Read more →
  • Comments, In Focus The tower of bats

    The tower of bats

    “We start to talk of food/ when we replace/ water with the essence of blood”. Fabio Arias.   Armando Orozco Tovar   It was during the years when thousands of members of Colombia’s left-wing “Unión Patriótica” party were assassinated throughout the country. At the height of this...

    Read more →
  • Culture, Visual Arts Fred Jordao: cultural cleansing & carnival in Brazil

    Fred Jordao: cultural cleansing & carnival in Brazil

    The carnivals of Rio, Salvador and Recife are different, but the opportunity to make money is homogenising them. Photographer Fred Jordao from Recife decided he was more interested in the popular festivals put on by the poorest people in the outer areas of the city, with no patronage or financial support. Carnaval...

    Read more →
  • Comments, Critical Dialogues, In Focus Recognition as a ontological and human relationship

    Recognition as a ontological and human relationship

    Recognition is looking in the mirror at the other to build a community that is not homogeneous but diverse.   Claudio Chipana G.   Here are some thoughts on the issue of recognition. Recognition in its broadest sense embraces the individual in their uniqueness and in the constitution of the...

    Read more →
  • Comments, Globe, In Focus, United Kingdom NHS on a knife edge

    NHS on a knife edge

    The Commonwealth Fund has just released a report that rates the NHS the best value for money health service in the developed world.   Naomi Beer   They also rate the US system the worst, yet this government (and previous governments) are taking us headlong into the American style system which...

    Read more →
  • Comments, EdgeNotes, In Focus Cognitive counter-revolution

    Cognitive counter-revolution

    Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), developed by Albert Ellis, is the latest fad to sweep the world of counselling. And I have benefitted personally. Steve Latham   Claiming to be based on rigorous empirical research, CBT is supposedly superior to old-fashioned psycho-therapy, with its time-consuming...

    Read more →
  • Comments, In Focus Just like Planet Earth

    Just like Planet Earth

    On a blanket of artificial grass amongst the sound of loud-mouthed announcers, men run from one side to another, moving like in a dance arms and legs back and forth, back and forth…   Armando Orozco Tovar   They advance, they retreat, they fall down, and they get right back up. Others...

    Read more →
  • Culture, Globe, Listings, United Kingdom, Visual Arts Full Contact 2014… open call for photography

    Full Contact 2014… open call for photography

    Tarragona welcomes a new edition of the International Scan Photography Festival, which is organising a gathering between artists and fans to discuss and share ideas about this art form. The event will take place on the 24th and 25th of October, following the selection of the in June.   Once again, the...

    Read more →
  • Comments, In Focus, Struggles, Trade Unions, Workers Deprived of General Practice?

    Deprived of General Practice?

    As a GP, working in the inner city for 25 years, I have a problem and it is not the patients I deal with on a daily basis. My problem is that I know what is happening to General Practice and the NHS but the public who use the service do not.    Naomi Beer   They are told that General Practice...

    Read more →
  • Economy, Globe, Lifestyle, Ludotheque, World The Internet continues to revolutionise world trade

    The Internet continues to revolutionise world trade

    The “World Wide Web” is thought of as the source of a revolutionary trend in the way that goods and services are traded over computer networks, giving rise to so-called e-commerce, which has been generating so much interest in the businesses sector.   Masiel Fernández Bolaños   A recent...

    Read more →