08 June 2008

PR# 2008-236

Security and Development Progress Brings Measure of Relief to People of Daman District

KABUL, Afghanistan – Located to the east of Kandahar City, rustic Daman District is home to farmers and nomadic tribes.

Life in the area is not easy. The land is very dry and there are few streams and kariz (underground streams) to nourish the farmers’ wheat and corn crops. Not immune from the ravages of more than 30 years of war, the people of Daman live with a critical lack of schools, hospitals, health clinics and other public service facilities.

Despite these hardships, Daman district is a success story in Southern Afghanistan. Farmers and landowners say Daman is one of the most peaceful districts in the province.

“Our district is unlike the other districts of Kandahar province,” says 35 year-old landowner Ezatullah. “It is very quiet and very peaceful.”

Abdul Rashid, a 27 year-old landowner, agrees.

“In the past few months we haven’t seen any violence or terrorist activities,” he says. He adds that this wasn’t always the case - insurgents burned down schools last year.

The increased security in the region is giving hope to farmers who must work long hours to yield crops in this dry district and who now feel it is safe to leave their compounds at night to tend their fields.

“We only have a few very small and narrow streams to irrigate our land, and we have to stay up all night to water the land,” explains 22 year-old farmer Sultan Ahmad. “Because of the good security, we can work during the night. We are sure that this year we will get a very good harvest and get good results.”

Increased security is also allowing development projects to progress. The construction of a new health clinic was recently begun to improve heath care in the region.

“This new, much needed, health clinic which will be located in the Shorandam village of Daman district,” says Dr. Abdul Qaum Pokhola, the Director of the Kandahar Ministry of Public Health (MOPH). “The clinic - which will to be built on a 820 square-meter piece of land and will have 10 rooms - will cost 98, 000 USD, and will be completed within the next five months.”

The clinic will provide many services, including: maternity and paediatric care, internal medicine, and emergency health care. Communicable and infectious diseases will also be treated at the new clinic, says Dr. Pokhola.

“It’s a good thing that the government will build a clinic here,” said Abdul Jamil, a resident of Daman district. “We had so many health problems and we couldn’t get to the city hospitals in time because of a lack of transportation. Our seniors, mothers and children were faced with many health problems during the summer and winter. This clinic will help us a lot.”

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