As the climate crisis tightens its grip, water scarcity is an increasingly troubling issue across Afghanistan, especially for women and girls. Just 42 percent of Afghans have access to safe drinking water, and only 27 percent of the rural population have access to sanitation facilities. 

Rose Hartley, Afghanaid's Programme Development Specialist, explained why this is a particular concern for Afghanistan's female population:

"In Afghanistan, the growing impacts of climate change means droughts are becoming ever more common - making already scarce water even harder to come by. Additionally, flash flooding is happening more often, polluting water sources and destroying homes and agricultural land, as well as other vital infrastructure, like water points and toilets. For many, this means the climate crisis is being experienced as a water crisis.

"This water crisis in Afghanistan is making the situation for women and girls much harder. Inadequate access to safe drinking water, proper sanitation facilities, and limited knowledge of hygiene practices deprives women and girls of opportunities, undermines their health, and sustains cycles of poverty.

A lack of access to water forces women and girls on long journeys, often several times a day, time that could be spent learning, earning, resting, or caring for others. A lack of toilets keeps girls out of primary school - which is already the highest level of education they can receive in Afghanistan. A lack of clean water and knowledge about waterborne disease is making many people ill, with women and girls often the ones tasked with nursing their family members back to health. A lack of water for livestock and crops is increasing food insecurity and debt, trapping entire families in poverty.

"That's why, this International Women's Day, we're raising funds for our Ripples of Change appeal, to support our work bringing clean water, hygiene facilities and sanitation infrastructure to some of the most remote communities in Afghanistan. We need your support to ensure that amidst the climate crisis, women and girls can stay clean and healthy, dream of bright and successful futures, and create ripples of change in their communities for many years to come."

Your donation can provide a lifeline to families who are vulnerable to dwindling water sources in Afghanistan, offering them hope, health, and dignity amidst adversity. Make a donation today:

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The impact of this work

Mother of five, Sara, has recently had a new water tap built in her garden, and thanks to this new supply of clean drinking water is now more able to keep her family healthy. The tap has also freed up her valuable time, as she no longer has to travel to find water.

Before, it was tough for our children and us women to bring water from far away. Now, with wells and water storage, we have safe water and more time. This helps keep our children healthy and provides water for our animals. The new well has also made it easier for everyone in the village to stay clean and healthy.

Read Sara's story

Sara's daughter using their new water tap

*Please note, we have changed Sara's name to protect her privacy

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