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WECF partner Katachel directly improves living conditions in Kunduz by constructing bath rooms

The construction of bath rooms has been a big step forward in improving the quality of life

01.02.2011 |WECF/Katachel

Katachel is WECF’s partner in Kunduz, Afghanistan. Katachel was financially supported the previous three years by the MFS program, funded by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs.  In 2010 money was invested in building better washrooms for families in need. Specifically poor and vulnerable families were chosen for this project, for whom the constructions would improve their everyday life conditions.

In 2008 WECF launched the ELA Program, which aimed at capacity building, enhancing empowerment and working on gender equality amongst the poor people in most of the EECCA countries and Afghanistan. The work of the ELA program was focussed on drinking water supplies, sanitation (e.g. urine diverting dry toilets), sustainable agriculture, and energy saving and renewable energies. According to the State of the World's Toilets 2007 report Afghanistan was classified as the place of the world with the worst sanitation conditions.

WECF and Katachel e.V. project
WECF and the NGO “Katachel” Afghanistan have initiated joint activities to improve the water, sanitation and health situation in the Kunduz region of Afghanistan. Katachel Afghanistan is very active NGO in Afghanistan operating and implementing projects there for almost 15 years. Its projects include the construction and maintenance of schools, building of drinking water wells, support for war widows, the equipment of a health care station, the construction of a bridge over the Gaukush river as well as families returning from refugee camps rebuild their houses.  Katachel has ordered 1000 eco-san toilets to be installed in the Kunduz region to provide for better sanitation and protect the groundwater(Katachel e.V., 2010).

Steel beams and concrete slabs
In October 2010 WECF received a report from Katachel concerning the current conditions of the built toilets. In September Katachel invested money in the construction of new toilets in Katachel and Nasseri, and  Kunduz for poor and needy people and for the sake of improvement of their living conditions.
In Katachel and Nasseri 10 families were supplied with fountain, 5 of which have the new bathroom, the other 5 have received a bathroom in 2009.
The total number of the users of the bathrooms will be about 200 people, half of whom are girls and women. The circular fountain delivers only domestic hot water, which is good to use for personal care. The water is of good microbiological quality, but unfortunately contains a lot of salt, which may lead to a kidney disease.
It was claimed that this bathroom toilets are the best rooms in the entire farm, because they are actually the only rooms that were built of stone. The benefits of the stone buildings are obvious during the winter time when it rains and the mud destroys the bricks.  The toilets are built of burnt stone, brick and cement-lime mortar. The floor and the roof are constructed from steel beams with concrete slabs and inlay.

Bathrooms were built in Katachel and Nasseri in Kunduz. Measurements were taken in order to ensure that the bathrooms are a combination of deep wells with clean, low salt water, used by the local population in combination with the use of ecological Urine Diverting Dry toilets. Funds from two different donors allowed the construction of the two wells.

50 families
In the area of Kunduz, Ibrahimkhel  50 families are  well water users. Education was  needed to convince the local population that deep-well water is only for food preparation and should not be used for a laundry so that the well is not overloaded. In Katachel Nasseri 5 out of 10 families have new bathrooms, the other 5 houses have bathrooms that were built in 2009. The total number of users of the bathroom is about 200 persons, half of which are girls and women.

Quality of Life
In order to provide more information and understanding amongst the families and the users of the bathrooms information sheets were attached to the toilets and courses were conducted  in two languages, Pashtu and Dari Afghan Information were posted in the toilets as well. The construction of these bathrooms has been a big step forward, the quality  of life of these Kunduz residents  has improved significantly. Therefore, a continuation of this work to the other residential areas is recommended in the next few years.

Living conditions for women and girls improved
The living conditions have improved, particularly for the women and the girls in the living area due to the separation of the bathrooms and the toilets which lead to more hygienic conditions. Moreover, it is more convenient for the women during the periods of their menstruation. Therefore the building of the bathrooms was warmly welcomed by the women.
Construction and supply
The water supply was personally initiated by the families. The families were taking care of the constructing and the water supply by themselves, which was not a rational act, due to the fact that men were responsible for the food supply in the family as well and had to work hard for it. The situation in Kunduz for the poor will always be difficult, because the bad security situation and the loss of jobs remain.
The poor security situation and the threat to our former employees are the only difficulties. Otherwise the work is much more effective transparent and targeted, so that in the coming years a successful cooperation is expected.

The construction of the bathrooms is one of the few projects which lead to direct improvement of the living conditions of the people. The construction of roads,
schools and bridges do improve the general infrastructure, but only
well construction and bathroom building lead to major improvements and the possibility to implement hygienic education and information into practice.

Katachel e.V.Verein für Humanitäre Hilfe in Afghanistan


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