Labaabe Baala villagers cluster proudly around the well they paid to repair themselves
USAID's IPACS II
A village in central Afghanistan is encouraged to talk over – and repair – its only well
20 JUNE 2013 | SAMANGAN, AFGHANISTAN
CHALLENGE Labaabe Baala in central Afghanistan did not have access to clean safe drinking water after its only well became unusable. The villagers expected the government to repair it because they did not have the knowledge and resources to do so themselves.
INITIATIVE The USAID-funded Initiative to Promote Afghan Civil Society (I-PACS II) facilitated discussion of the problem and likely solutions. The villagers talked it over and decided that they need not wait for government assistance and could pay for the repair themselves, so long as each contributed only what he or she could afford.
RESULTS The well was repaired soon after the extended discussion and Labaabe Baala now has clean drinking water. The villagers also put in place an effective maintenance routine. The process helped the community to help itself. This has empowered the village to work together to solve its problems independently of donor support. The people of Labaabe Baala have a greater sense of ownership of their shared assets. Raees Khaliq, a villager, says, “We are now trying our best to take care of the well… we have a specific time for people in the community to come and take water and we even lock the manual pump when it is not being supervised”.