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Shantytowns of Kabul

(PID:37745372902) Source
posted by Michal Przedlacki alias Michal Pr on Wednesday 18th of October 2017 05:00:06 PM

In Chamane Babrack slum, near the fruit and vegetables market of Kabul. There are many children living in squat settlements, shanty towns and slums of Kabul. Most of them are deprived access to education, to food enough times a day, to safety of an usual childhood. Many work or beg on streets trying to support family, gather garbage, get beaten, and witness cruelty of war. In the Kabul slums 40% of them die before reaching 5th birthday. There are around 35,000 people that were recently displaced due to war and came to live in Kabul slums. Kabul, Afghanistan, 2012. For those interested, a long read below: Following collapse of the Taleban and return of Afghans from Pakistan and Iran, many people, after having spent up to 20 years in exile, settled in urban centers such as Kabul. They did so mainly for economic reasons – homelessness, lack of job opportunities, lack of accessibility to basic social services and other support infrastructure in their places of origin. Heavy fighting between international forces and Taleban in as distant places of country as North-East, East, South-East, South and Central region brought a wave of aghast and scared population that narrowly escaped fighting and insecurity, that had to leave their homes and life achievements behind. Families that escaped war usually lost someone from their family. Roughly half of others that settled were evicted from refugee camps (these being closed), harassed by police, deported, and discriminated in asylum countries. Due to growing rents in Kabul city, many families were left with no choice but put up tents in various locations, or to occupy public buildings. In the beginning of December 2010 in Kabul alone there were at least 31 informal settlement sites with close to 3,000 families dwelling in them, although the number could well be much higher, as tracking population on move in Kabul is a difficult task. Amongst the most deprived and marginalized urban groups in Kabul are the Internally Displaced People, recent returnees and deportees. These inhabitants of Kabul live in squalid camps in and around Kabul city, or on the hillsides surrounding Kabul, like 70% of this city. Nearly three-quarters of them is chronically malnourished, almost 25% acutely and 15% severely. It is especially harsh if you are a child or an unaccompanied elder. 40% of children does not survive till their 5th birthday. It’s worse than in rural areas of Tsarist’s Russia in XIX century. Elders perish unnoticed. People find it very difficult to feed themselves. more than 90% of population of slums has no any regular source of income with almost no work available in winter and some in other seasons. When work is available, casual labourer receives between 1 and 3 USD a day. Many families rely on the income sending their women to beg on streets of Kabul. Up to a quarter of families rely on minors begging on streets, collecting cans and other items from city garbage, polishing shoes, doing other odd jobs or who are smoke peddlers. Such children earn on average 30-40 USD a month, which is often a difference between life and starvation. There is not much interest of local authorities to assist as they are afraid of accepting urban ghettos. But since there is no other place people can go, with influx of new people the situation gets worse every year. There are few humanitarian organizations working in the settlements, but with all good that is done it does also have its negative consequences. With people so much dependant for their survival on help from others, every assistance increases their dependency on aid community. And majority of that community does not go into settlements, for various reasons. Inside settlements you see victims of situation that is beyond their ability to cope with, so inhumanely treated with ignorance every passing day. Those that were bombed, that had to run, were then forgotten by the same world that caused it – and it does not matter whether it was a shell fired by international forces, or by Taleban. Those, that beg on streets freezing in harsh Kabul’s winters, look at armored latest versions of Land Cruisers and Prados, and through bullet-proof glass, onto foreigners that turn their eyes away. Who would like to look at a dirty burqa, with a child, its colour of blue, that knocks on the door, begging for help? Few organizations working in the settlements: www.aschiana.com www.solidarites.org www.welthungerhilfe.de www.actioncontrelafaim.org



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  • Published 12.06.22
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