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, EdgeNotes, In Focus Living in Fractured Times

    Living in Fractured Times

    Eric Hobsbawm’s posthumous book, Fractured Times, is a scintillating collection of essays covering the cultural history of Europe through the Twentieth Century.   Steve Latham   The volume is panoramic in its scope: covering inter alia the role of arts festivals, the development of Jewish...

    Read more →
  • Culture, Listings, Screen A showcase of Latin American cinema and music

    A showcase of Latin American cinema and music

    Films and concerts from Latin America will be in the multicultural city of London from 9th of September to 9th of October.   In this month devoted to cinema and music, there will be film screenings, as part of the “Bolíwood” Festival (as in Bolivar, not Bollywood) and concerts, all with Latin...

    Read more →
  • Comments, EdgeNotes, In Focus An Englishman for Scotland

    An Englishman for Scotland

    When we were up in Edinburgh for the Festival, we expected there to be lots of references to the independence issue.   Steve Latham   Suprisingly, most of the acts, stand-up comedians included, fought shy of the question. This does not seem to have been due to any self-censorship. Instead, the...

    Read more →
  • Culture, Listings, Migrants, Multiculture, Screen Ghosts, memories and traumas of Mexico

    Ghosts, memories and traumas of Mexico

    A symposium taking place on 12th September will analyse the form in which varieties of emotion, and personal and collective experiences, can be expressed visually, with particular reference to Mexico and the 20th and 21st centuries.   Under the title ‘Specular Ghosts: Memory and Trauma in Mexican...

    Read more →
  • Culture, Pages Nepomuceno, Gabo and the memories

    Nepomuceno, Gabo and the memories

    Eric Nepomuceno was a thirty-something Brazilian journalist with a budding career when he landed in Havana during the summer of 1978. Almost before he could brush off the dust from the road he attended a meeting that would be a turning point in his life.   Eric NepomucenoPhoto from orelhadolivro.com Francisco...

    Read more →
  • Comments, Culture, In Focus, Pages 100 years of  playing cyclops, 50 years of Rayuela

    100 years of playing cyclops, 50 years of Rayuela

    “Would I find La Maga? Most of the time it was just a case of my putting in an appearance, going along the Rue de Seine to the arch leading into la Quaid de Conti, and I would see her slender form against the olive ashen which floats along the river as she crossed back and forth on the Pont des Art,...

    Read more →
  • Culture, Screen Mariano Bartolomeu: pointing a camera in many directions

    Mariano Bartolomeu: pointing a camera in many directions

    Between 1989 and 2008 he made a large number of short films influenced by European directors and European and North American writers. Now he feels it is time to develop his own voice more strongly.   Mariano Bartolomeu Graham Douglas   Like most Angolans his family has suffered from decades...

    Read more →
  • Comments, Critical Dialogues, In Focus Conga, Gregorio Santos and Máxima Acuna

    Conga, Gregorio Santos and Máxima Acuna

    The words are a battle cry, a plea to save the region’s environment and water supply and put an end to predatory and polluting mining practices.   Claudio Chipana   The people of the Cajamarca region in northern Peru are rallying against multinational mining company Yanacocha’s ‘Conga’...

    Read more →
  • Comments, EdgeNotes, In Focus Regeneration as degeneration

    Regeneration as degeneration

    During the Edinburgh Fringe, we stayed in a delightful apartment in Leith. Leith is the old port-town of Edinburgh.   Steve Latham   It was a pleasant place to base ourselves in during the Festival, while we travelled in daily on the city bus service. It had become run-down and derelict, but...

    Read more →
  • Comments, In Focus What is peace?

    What is peace?

    A white cow is not a white dove, says Eduardo Embry, a Chilean poet based in the UK. A gracing pristine cow is heavy, and the meaning of peace is not to appease or to be appeased. By contrast, peace is not a given, but an ongoing process of understanding and doing together.   Mabel Encinas   Peace...

    Read more →
  • Culture, Visual Arts A giant man and a tiny woman in the Hunterian museum

    A giant man and a tiny woman in the Hunterian museum

    This Hunterian museum, which unites anatomical and pathological specimens to be studied by undergraduate and postgraduate students, also houses Charles Byrne and Caroline Crachami.   Photo By StoneColdCrazy Edith Tacusi Oblitas   Irishman Charles Byrne was 2 metre and 48 centimetres tall when he died...

    Read more →
  • Comments, In Focus, Needle's Eye Reparations and genetics: Have they anything to say to each other?

    Reparations and genetics: Have they anything to say to each other?

    Genetic modification and reparations for slavery might seem on first appearances to be somewhat distant companions.   Nigel Pocock   How should we define ‘GM’? If we limit the definition to a laboratory, deliberately excluding the social context, then we are unlikely to make a connection...

    Read more →
  • Comments, EdgeNotes, In Focus “F” is for Fringe

    “F” is for Fringe

    Photo by Kim Traynor Visiting the Edinburgh Fringe, we went to several stand-up comedians; and we learned that bad language and explicit sexual references are endemic. In particular, the F-word is ubiquitous.   Steve Latham   Maybe I am shocking because I am getting on in years, and it expresses...

    Read more →
  • Culture, Globe, Screen, United Kingdom London Spanish Film Festival celebrates its 10th year

    London Spanish Film Festival celebrates its 10th year

    The 10th edition of the festival will take place from the 25th of September to the 5th of October, bringing together Spanish and Catalan productions , comedy and cuisine.   Photo by London Spanish Film Festival London Spanish Film Festival is 10 years old this year, and to mark the occasion the...

    Read more →
  • Comments, Culture, In Focus, Screen Carpe Diem

    Carpe Diem

    (…) My wife has proposed a family suicide / both of us and our two daughters / when the mushroom cloud arrives (…) Affonso Romano de Sant´Anna.   Armando Orozco Tovar   We are surrounded by death, something that sounds like stating the obvious, a great truth. But what are we going to do...

    Read more →
  • Culture, Pages Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, the flight of the prince

    Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, the flight of the prince

    Seventy years after his plane was tragically shot down, we are still no closer to knowing which of the Nazi Luftwaffe pilots – Horst Rippert or Robert Heichele – ended the life of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry.   Miguel Fernández Martínez   On the 31st of July 1944, at 8:45am, Saint-Exupéry...

    Read more →
  • Culture, Pages, Trade Unions, Workers ‘Private’ is ‘Public’: Health Care is our right

    ‘Private’ is ‘Public’: Health Care is our right

    “The Price of Experience: Writings on living with cancer” by Mike Marqusee demands an end to inequalities in health care and challenges the British government’s ideology which blames people for their ill health. It makes us think about how this “winners” and “losers”...

    Read more →
  • Comments, EdgeNotes, In Focus Revelation of “Boyhood”

    Revelation of “Boyhood”

    This is the latest film directed by Richard Linklater. Astonishingly, the movie was filmed over twelve years, taking thirty-nine days of shooting.   Richard LinklaterPhoto by Siebbi Steve Latham   Tracing the life of a young boy as he grows into a young man, the picture follows the central character’s...

    Read more →
  • Comments, EdgeNotes, In Focus Are we decadent?

    Are we decadent?

    “Decadence” is usually a term used by right-wing people to castigate individuals and societies with whom they disagree, and whose lifestyle they disapprove of.   Photo from http://goo.gl/9HxW4f Steve Latham   The arts are frequently said to be in decline, embodied in paradoxical trends:...

    Read more →
  • Culture, Screen Diego Quemada-Díez: “The happy end is a manipulation”

    Diego Quemada-Díez: “The happy end is a manipulation”

    The journey of three teenagers riding “the Beast”, the train that leads to the desired future in the United States, is full of risks and is destroying innocence, hope and grand dreams, metre by metre.   Diego Quemada-Díez Noelia Ceballos Terrén   From his first steps behind a camera 20...

    Read more →