Ghulam Farooq Ahmadzada has always fought for causes in which he believes. Thirty years ago, he joined the mujahedeen against the Soviets and then fought in the Afghan civil war. Now he’s fighting against the Taliban–without guns. Ahmadzada heads a cooperative of 150 farmers in Palezai. Cooperatives let farmers share resources while presenting a united front against those threatening their lives and livelihoods.
Latifa has faced many challenges. Her husband is disabled, so the 47-year-old woman has been the sole source of income for her four daughters and two sons. She is illiterate and has limited opportunities to earn money. Prior to participating in a USAID-funded women’s poultry project, Latifa struggled to get by working in other people’s homes washing clothes, cleaning, baking bread, and collecting straw to sell.
Carved into a mountainside a few years ago, the rough, rutted Tamazan Road currently serves as the sole means of vehicle access in and out of the province. The road allows traffic to flow from Nili, the provincial capital, through the disputed border district of Gizab and to the southern provinces of Uruzgan, Kandahar, and Hilmand. During heavy winter rains and snowfall, Daykundi Province is typically cut off from the rest of Afghanistan. Tamazan Road is the only artery that remains partially passable.
Walk far enough along a village canal system in eastern Afghanistan and you will find yourself in the mountains. Open canal paths and friable soil give way to tight corridors framed by towering granite mountains. These corridors become choke points when snowmelt creates floods, driving rock down from mountain ridges toward local intakes and canals.
Deh Sabz Village is located in Adraskan District, 95 km west of Hirat Province. Due to a lack of resources in the Afghan government, many of the community’s grievances remained unaddressed, creating a gap between the government and the local communities.
Last updated: August 16, 2016