Since 2017, Afghanaid has been working in partnership with The HALO Trust, to restore previously dangerous, mine-contaminated land to productive use and supporting families to lift themselves and their communities out of poverty.

The problem

Afghanistan is one of the most heavily mined countries in the world and decades of conflict have left the country littered with unexploded ordnance. Between 1979 and 2018, over 31,000 casualties were recorded as a result of this.

Over 80% of the population in Afghanistan relies on agriculture to make ends meet. When their land is contaminated with landmines or unexploded ordnance, farmers are unable to grow sufficient crops or graze their animals, trapping whole communities in poverty and putting lives at risk on a daily basis.

Our response

The HALO Trust has been working to clear dangerous land of mines and unexploded ordnance, and then Afghanaid has set to work supporting local families to use their cleared land to rebuild their livelihoods.

We have worked with almost 3,000 men and women in Samagan and Logar provinces, providing them with the support, training and tools they need to transform their land into a valuable and productive resource.

Following the clearance of their land by The HALO Trust, Afghanaid trained these men and women in updated and improved agriculture techniques, orchard management, poultry rearing, greenhouse management and  cultivation of the medicinal crop ferula.

 

We distributed the necessary tools and seeds for them to put this training into action and supported them to construct greenhouses so they can grow food all year round. Alongside this support, we have constructed canals to provide safe drinking water to homes, schools and clinics, and to irrigate the newly-cleared land.

The results

We have seen real change in these communities, and not just in terms of the land itself. The skills of the participants have increased, their families are safe and their land is now being used productively, and as a result, their financial stability has vastly improved.

Moreover, the women we have worked with are now able to earn their own income and are investing a large portion of what they earn on the health and education of their children and the daily expenses of their households. As income-earners who can contribute to the financial stability of their families, they are enjoying a new-found respect within their homes and their wider communities.

Long-term impact

Teaching people like Aminullah (below) new skills which they can pass onto the next generation, and building their capacity to provide for themselves, will have a lasting positive impact on the lives of their families and the long-term development of their communities.

Afghanaid provided over 1,800 farmers like Aminullah with improved wheat seed, alongside technical training in topics such as land preparation, cultivation techniques, and pest and disease control.

As a result, this year Aminullah’s harvest was almost double what he used to be able to cultivate and he is now better able to cover his family’s expenses.

He has also entered into an exchange group with other farmers in his village who grow different crops: he will share some of his wheat seed in exchange for their rice and beans, so all families can benefit from a variety of crops and they can work together to build a stronger future.

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