In regions where there is war, conflict, natural disasters, and great transition, the first response to the needs of the people should be humanitarian aid and relief. JDA has helped with providing food, shelter, water, and social and spiritual support.
Crisis Response Fund Project
During a two year drought, an Afghan government ministry, knowing of JDA's work with Sawyer filters, turned to the clean water organization at JDA for assistance. Fifteen villages in a mountainous region needed to have clean water. Here, residents depend on open dams and cisterns for collecting winter-snow-melt for their water supply. These sources become contaminated by fecal matter of animals and humans. Contaminated water brings life-threatening diseases like diarrhea resulting in dehydration, long-term illnesses, worms and parasites. The ground and water level conditions did not permit the drilling of wells. Our priority was to provide clean water. The clean water organization from JDA distributed 1,362 Sawyer PointOne filters which helped more than 8,000 people clean their available contaminated water and avoid water-borne diseases.
This spring, heavy rains swept through northern Afghanistan, resulting in major floods that left thousands of people without a home and taking hundreds of lives. More than 90,000 people are estimated to have been affected by the torrential downpours.
Several provinces near where JDA works were severely affected by these terrible floods. With the help of our generous donors, JDA was able to reach out and provide safe clean water to the most remote villages where the government could not supply trucked water.
Water was provided though the purchase and distribution of the Sawyer PointONE Filter. This is a portable filter, easy-to-use, and reliable for the vulnerable families affected by flood disasters. Sawyer filters are certified for ABSOLUTE microns making it impossible for harmful bacteria, protozoa, or cysts like E. coli, Giardia, Vibrio cholerae and Salmonella typhi (which cause Cholera and Typhoid) to pass through.
The distribution process took place in the northern villages of Baghlan and Sar-e Pol. In Baghlan, filters to 174 families were distributed. An estimated 1077 people benefited including, women, children and disabled. In the village of Sar-e Pol, 100 filters were installed in one hundred houses where more than 300 families are living (2-6 families per household).
The nomadic Kuchis are potentially the largest vulnerable population in Afghanistan. For centuries their semi-annual migrations with their herds of sheep, goats, donkeys, and camels led to important contributions in terms of skins, meat, and wool to local communities. More than 80% of Afghanistan's land is suitable only for sparse grazing making this sort of seasonal migration ideal. The war with the Soviet Union, the subsequent years of foreign-imposed war, drought, and ethnic tensions produced a dramatic drop in the number of Kuchis and the size of their herds.
Zaragan is a village located in Balkh district with population of approximately 60 households; they came from the village of Dawlat Abad and moved into this area. For this growing community, the stream is the main source of drinking water.
The distribution of Sawyer filters in this village took place on July 23, 2014 for 18 households. The JDA team traveled back to Zaragan to monitor and evaluate the impact of using the filters and found an interesting story.
Salhi Mohammad living in Zargaran, has a-three-years old son who became seriously sick with diarrhea and vomiting. Salhi spent 7000 AFs (two months' salary) in doctors and medicines. He visited 4 to 5 doctors within a week, but his son did not get better. After he received the Sawyer filter from JDA, he said;
"...I never thought that this tiny thing could give such a big result. I will take care of my filter as I take care of my life. This acts incredibly and saves my family's life and money."