From the event

17 Dec 2007

Donated charcoal source of heat,
hope for Afghan village

French soldiers from Regional Command Capital (RC(C)) Civil Military Cooperation team helped provide heating to 450 Afghan families for the coming winter season.

Some 62 tons of charcoal were distributed to all the families from Bariq Ab - ‘refugees camp’ - , a village that is the home of families coming from Kabul’s ghettos.The soldiers teamed with the 13 district chiefs – the ‘Maleks’ – of Bariq Ab to identify the needs in heating ressources. In total, more than 800 bags of charcoal were delivered, including 600 to Bariq Ab, 200 to Heshneh Ye Karuti, and 20 to the police station. Each family received three bags worth covering for cooking and heating during three months.

While the area, with its wells and homes, gives the families a place to settle, living conditions remain difficult. There are no medical facilities or economic activity. Only four teachers are educating the 500 schoolboys and girls of the village in a rundown tent. A weekly Shura helps the Maleks to discuss these daily difficulties. A representative from the French RC(C) team attends these meetings.

Bariq Ab may simply survive because of charcoal donations this year; however, many believe that the community will thrive soon. About 5,000 families are expected to move to the village in the next few years. Aside from coal supply, a French battle group is also doing daily patrols in the area, and many other reconstruction and development projects are in progress to help ensure the quality of life continues to improve in the village.

(Story by Regional Command Capital Staff reports)

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