Aid organisation connects 1,400 families in Takhar to water supply network

By Muhammad Qasem

Local residents gather on November 25 in Hazar Somoch village, in Rostaq district, Takhar province, to celebrate the completion of a drinking water project funded by the Swedish Committee for Afghanistan (SCA). [Takhar Rural Rehabilitation and Development Directorate]

Local residents gather on November 25 in Hazar Somoch village, in Rostaq district, Takhar province, to celebrate the completion of a drinking water project funded by the Swedish Committee for Afghanistan (SCA). [Takhar Rural Rehabilitation and Development Directorate]

TALOQAN -- The Swedish Committee for Afghanistan (SCA) and the Takhar Rural Rehabilitation and Development Directorate recently completed a project to provide potable water to 1,400 households.

The project involved the construction of a new water supply network in Hazar Somoch village of Rostaq district, which started in late March and was completed in nine months, according to Faizullah Howaida, director of the SCA office for the northeastern zone based in Kunduz province.

The residents of three villages in Rostaq district -- Hazar Somoch Bala, Hazar Somoch Payan and Toot -- identified providing potable water as a top priority, Howaida said.

"The project included building two water reservoir storages with volumes of 60 and 200 cubic metres of water, construction of 80 faucets in different parts of the villages, and deployment of 35km-long water pipes," he said.

"The network will run on solar energy to pump water and fill the reservoirs, and water will be distributed to specific villages using pipes," he said.

"The project cost 9.7 million AFN ($109,605) and provides potable water to some 1,400 families in three villages," he added.

Previously, residents of villages in Rostaq district had to drink contaminated water from the river and stream, which caused illnesses and even deaths due to water-borne diseases, said Samiullah Samimi, spokesperson for the Takhar Rural Rehabilitation and Development Directorate.

"Unfortunately, residents of these areas faced acute drinking water shortages," he said. "Now that they have been connected to the water supply network, they can fetch clean water from the closest faucet near their house for free."

"The project aimed to provide clean drinking water to local residents affected by drought and water shortages," he added.

Water shortage and disease

Before the water supply network became operational, residents of Rostaq district's villages would have to fetch water from rivers and streams as far as 4km away.

They expressed appreciation for the relief organisations' interventions.

Sayed Nizamuddin Obaidi, 42, a resident of Rostaq district, said before the network was launched, one or two members of his family had to assume the task of fetching water for the household every day.

"I am happy about the water supply network in our village," he said. "We suffered from water shortage for many years and were drinking contaminated and muddy water."

"We did not have enough potable water for several years," he said. "There were times when we had to use rainwater because we could not find clean water for consumption."

Nasrullah, 56, a resident of Rostaq district, said he felt relieved to have access to clean drinking water.

"Before the inauguration of the water supply network, we would consume dirty and unhealthy water because we had no other choice," he said.

"Contaminated water has caused the spread of diseases in our village for several years. Whenever we took a family member, especially a child, to a doctor, they said the reason for the illness was polluted water," he added.

"Our children fetched water from the stream, where animals also came and drank from the same water," he said. "Because we didn't have access to clean water, we had to drink it to survive."

Finding a permanent solution

Residents of Takhar's centre and districts are in dire need of potable water and the provincial economic directorate is working to prioritise projects, said Mohammad Omar Tawhidi, chief of the development unit in that directorate.

"Takhar has 16 districts, and residents of many districts don't have access to drinking water," he said. "We have prioritised many water supply projects for the next solar year [starting on March 21, 2023], which will be implemented with support from relief organisations."

"To address the problems of residents, we have recently discussed and suggested digging deep and shallow wells and constructing water supply networks during our meetings with local and international organisations," he said.

"The level of underground water across the country has decreased because of the drought, and locals cannot afford to dig deep wells, so we hope relief organisations focus their work on this front," he added.

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This is vital work. Providing clean water to the people is very important. Millions of people in Afghanistan still do not have access to clean drinking water. A marshal plan should be made to supply water to the people, but these small programs should be continued until such a big plan is made. I have two suggestions in this regard: 1. These water pipes should not be expanded on the ground but half a meter below to prevent erosion. 2. The local people should help protect them and take responsibility. In addition, a committee should be established in each village. That committee should collect the payments for tap water from each family once a month. Some people may argue that they are poor and cannot afford it. Here are two things: If you have cash or little cash, you can pay at least 50 Afghanis. If there is a shortage of money, someone can give wheat, corn, or other materials, but getting water, electricity, gas, or other services for free is like teaching the recipient how to beg. I hope no one is offended by my words. Note: The money/goods collected can be used to repair and develop the water system.


Water is one of the necessities of life. In our rural areas, the water is cleaner than in the cities, but most of the wells are not covered. This is the reason why the water in the wells is getting polluted. There is a need for an organized system and cooperation in this area. This effort of the Takhar Province Rural and Development Department and the Swedish Committee for Afghanistan is commendable. This cooperation of the Swedish Committee is not current, but it has helped Afghans a lot.


Afghan people have little access to clear drinking water. Lack of canals is a big problem in all provinces of Afghanistan. Lack of water reservoirs in the districts and provinces is a major challenge. Residents of the districts do not have enough access to clean drinking water. In Afghanistan, there is no canalization for the people to take their dirty water out of their homes through the canals. That is why there is no clean drinking water. People get various diseases due to drinking unclean water. We request the organization of Swedish Committee to prioritize the program of providing drinking water and making a canalization system for the cities in order to take out the dirty water in order that the people can get clean water for drinking. Thanks to the programs of the Sweden Committee.