Balkh Province, situated in Afghanistan’s northern region, covers an area more than 16,000 km2 and is the fastest growing area in the country. With a population of more than 1.1 million throwing away waste products, the affect on the environment is hazardous. Many consumer products such as bottled-water, oil, beverages, dairy products, etc., are supplied in plastic packs. Considering the relatively high population growth, solid waste – plastic in particular – is also growing in the region. Currently, the municipality collects and disposes of all waste. There aren’t many private firms that collect and recycle plastic.
Afghan journalists work in an uncertain political, legal, and regulatory environment, which can have a chilling effect on media content and open and fair discussion about social and political issues. Journalists often find themselves carefully negotiating complex issues attracting all range of legal threats.
Afghanistan is an overwhelmingly rural country. More than 80 percent of Afghans live in farming villages, and 75 percent of all residents depend on arable land for their livelihoods. When asked about land, subsistence farmers talk about crop yields. Farmers who have been able to move past subsistence agriculture often see land as an asset in its own right.
Snowmelt and rain swell the Murghab River in the months of April, May, and June, raising the water velocity to three times its normally placid rate. These surges, capable of filling an Olympic-sized swimming pool every 23 seconds, help neighboring Turkmenistan provide local power along the river valley border with Afghanistan. However, in northern Badghis Province, the same floodwaters overrun fragile canals, stripping topsoil from farmland and devastating crops.
In Afghanistan, less attention and resources are provided to national, district, and specialty hospitals due to the high costs of service provision and the need for substantial investment, both of which are unaffordable for the Afghan government. As a result, access to quality hospital services is lacking and an increasing number of Afghans seek treatment in hospitals abroad, particularly in Pakistan, India, and Turkey. A recent study found that an estimated $27 million per year flows out of the country from patients seeking care in India alone.
Last updated: October 24, 2016