A Woman Leads War against Trash

Zarangas pick up trash from one of Mazar-e-Sharif’s neighborhoods.
Zarangas pick up trash from one of Mazar-e-Sharif’s neighborhoods.
USAID/RAMP UP North
USAID-funded project in Mazar-e-Sharif assists citizens in keeping their neighborhood clean
14 MARCH 2012 | BALKH, AFGHANISTAN
 
Gul Jan, a housewife from Yulmarab village, called the contact number listed on the Mazar-e-Sharif trash collection flyers to lodge a complaint with municipal officials. She stated that zarangs (motorized rickshaws) were not coming to her neighborhood to collect trash according to the schedule posted on the flyers.
 
A few days later, as the zarangs and trucks came to Gul Jan’s neighborhood to collect piles of trash, she called the municipal team to express her appreciation for being heard. She stated, “If only a few women in my neighborhood feel responsible and do their part, this entire neighborhood will be clean. Thanks to Mazar Municipality, I feel involved in decision making. I called, and I was listened to. I had heard about this project, and I told the women in my neighborhood not to throw trash on the street. I told them zarangs from the Municipality will come and collect your trash.” Gul Jan has become an advocate of the program and a supporter of the Municipality.
 
But Gul Jan has one more request for the Municipality—to clean out a ditch near her home. People from her neighborhood have been dumping trash there for years. Gul Jan explained that if the Municipality could clean it just once, she would volunteer to go door-to-door and tell people not to throw their trash there anymore. She is also willing to voluntarily campaign for the trash collection project and train women in her neighborhood how to manage their trash. 
 
USAID’s Regional Afghan Municipalities Program for Urban Populations helps municipalities to deliver improved and demand-driven services based on priorities established by its citizens. It also seeks to increase the trust and confidence of the community in the municipal government to deliver services fairly and efficiently.

Last updated: July 21, 2014

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