7 Feb 2007

PR# 2007-092

First playground for the children of Helmand

HELMAND, Afghanistan - The first ever children’s playground in Helmand province has been built in Lashkar Gah.

The play area, which is approximately 50m by 100m, has swings, climbing frames, a football pitch and a covered picnic area with benches.

It was built by local Afghan contractors at a cost of $52,000 and has been funded and coordinated by the United Kingdom’s (UK) Civil Military Cooperation (CIMIC) team.

“They haven’t got anything like that in Helmand. This is the first of what we hope is going to be a lot more” said SSgt Hutton from the UK CIMIC team. “It has a football pitch, benches, play apparatus and we’ve planted some hedgerows. The children love and it and since it was installed they haven’t stopped using it which makes it all worthwhile.”

The initial idea for the playground was suggested by an ISAF soldier, who whilst patrolling the town, had seen children playing on a makeshift see-saw made from a plank of wood. The proposal was put to the CIMIC team who agreed to fund the project through the UK’s Quick Impact Project fund.

The construction of the playground was done in full cooperation with the Mayor of Lashkar Gah. It has been such a success that work has now started on a second playground in Lashkar Gah and there are plans for a third in the nearby town of Gereshk.

Contact Information ISAF Public Affairs Office
Tel: +93 (0)799 51 1155 - Mobile: 0093 (0) 799 55 8291 pressoffice@hq.isaf.nato.int - www.nato.int/isaf/