The Norwegian Afghanistan Committee (NAC) announces the allocation of its $850,000 fund to the “Cash for Work” project for residents of Paktika Province. Officials from the organization in this province have informed the media that this project is intended to provide employment opportunities for over 8,000 individuals in the central area and three districts of the province. The project includes the construction of small water reservoirs and retaining walls.
The residents of Paktika express hope that the completion of such projects will not only create short-term employment for locals but also bring about positive changes in their lives in the long run by improving groundwater, providing drinking water, and irrigating agricultural lands.
Officials from the NAC in the province of Paktika specify that this budget is slated to be used in the city of Sharana, the center of Paktika province, and the districts of Mata Khan, Yusufkhel, and Khairkot in this province. With the implementation of these projects, direct employment opportunities will be generated for 8,300 individuals in these regions.
Mohammad Zarif Hilal, the provincial official of the Norwegian Afghanistan Committee in Paktika, stated, “The survey for this project was completed in coordination with the district water administration of Gomal Bay some time ago, and the aim of launching this program is to develop the regions and bring about a positive change in the lives of the people. This program is tailored to the needs of the local population.”
On the other hand, technical staff members of this committee emphasize that with the completion of the construction of small water reservoirs, the water scarcity issues in this district will be significantly alleviated. According to Niaz Mohammad Haqmal, the technical officer of this project, the construction of small water reservoirs and retaining walls, in addition to preventing water runoff, is highly beneficial for enhancing groundwater levels. He added, “The construction of these reservoirs is instrumental in improving water resources for agriculture, irrigation of lands, and increasing the water levels in qanats, potentially tripling the water supply.”
Meanwhile, the residents of Paktika province express satisfaction with the launch of this project. They say that due to recent droughts in the country, access to clean drinking water has become scarce in many areas of this province. The residents of this province state that they are facing a serious challenge as a result and hope that the construction of water reservoirs will address the water scarcity issue in the province of Paktika.
Haji Gulakhan, one of the prominent local figures in this province, told the Hasht-e Subh Daily: “Clean drinking water is not available in many areas. The Taliban and organizations should work more in this regard. They should assist us in building reservoirs. This will not only store water but also mitigate flood problems and strengthen water wells.”
Mohammad Wali, one of the young residents of the Mata Khan district in Paktika province, has found favorable employment opportunities through the implementation of this project. He states that launching such programs is beneficial for strengthening the rural economy and provides a means of sustainable livelihood. He adds, “I am very pleased to have a job through this project, and I earn money to support my life. All organizations should take the same initiative. No one likes to rely on charity. Provide us with jobs and pay wages in return.”
It is worth noting that the Norway Afghanistan Committee (NAC) has been implementing development projects in various parts of Paktika province for about two years. This organization recently completed an irrigation channel in the Sar Hawza district of this province. Additionally, 40 million Afghanis were allocated by this organization for the construction of residential houses for earthquake victims in the Gayan district of Paktika province.