Good Governance

Despite the efforts that have been made in improving local governance in Afghanistan like establishing the independent directorate of Local Governance, Afghan local policy and assistance of international community, still there are many challenges and problems that prevent the strengthening of local governance and service delivery.

The level of economic and social development in the Afghan countryside is very low. Conflicts, corruption and mismanagement in the administration result in local communities enjoying extremely limited opportunities to effect change. People are powerless, geared to survive, and cannot claim their rights against authorities. They often find it difficult to carry out the measures they think are necessary according to SCA. One major problem is unequal representation in local decision-making bodies. Women and people with disabilities are often excluded from participating and making decisions, which means that their rights are not fulfilled. Their interests are protected to a lesser extent by both the authorities and the villages themselves.

The transition of responsibility from the central government to the local directorate of the government is 2007 establishes an accountability relation between provinces and central government as well as accelerate the process of making decision. This directorate reports directly to the presidential office, this means that instead of decreasing the control of central government; make the central government to apply its power. The major problem is the system of central governance that causes local agencies has little authority to use the budget, if they are planning to implement a project they must wait months for processing the proposal of budget in the center. Corruption exists as a major problem all over the local government and mainly includes the high officials. Bribery exists in every aspect and influence of powerful people and other supportive networks exist in every part of the country.

Establishment of provincial council in 2006 was the first approach in making representative government in the local government, but still this council plays and advisory role and they have limitation in practical areas that they could easily fulfill their responsibilities. Election process in Afghanistan does not have transparency that is why people do not usually trust in votes and on the other hand votes are sold or taken from people by force.

For the strategic period of 2018-2021, good governance will be one of the sectors of operation because the organization is implementing partner for Citizen Charter with the key objective of good/local governance.

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Access to clean water in Afghanistan is a challenge for the majority of the citizens. The situation in rural Afghanistan, however, is much direr. With approximately 80 percent of the country’s population living in rural areas, the fact that only 20 percent of this segment of the population, in contrast to 27 percent in the cities, has access to sanitary water supplies could shed some light on the scope of the challenge of providing access to clean water and sanitation in Afghanistan.

According to UNICEF-WHO joint monitoring report 2015, 68 percent of Afghans don’t have access to improved sanitation and nearly 15 million, 45 percent use un-improved water sources.
The provinces with higher intensity of conflict are the ones with poor WASH indicators. Safe hygiene behaviors like hand washing with soap is practiced by less than 30 percent of the people in 24 out of 34 provinces. As a result disease like diarrhea that has strong association with chronic malnutrition among children is a matter of concern.

Another challenge the flee of population or displacement due to continuation of conflict as well as the returning of refugees from Pakistan and Iran the people often live in crowded sputters in cities or makeshift shelters in marginal lands with limited or no WASH facilities as a result people often use unprotected and distant water sources and practice open defecation. These condition compromise the dignity of women and girls, put them at risk of harassment, and expose people to life-threatening diseases including outbreaks of acute diarrhea, cholera, ARI, and measles, especially to young children and sick and elderly people. Returnees and IDPs also cause additional pressure on local health facilities that provide essential life-saving health and nutrition interventions and in absence of reliable WASH services the effectiveness of services in these facilities is further compromised. According to OCHA lead HEAT survey of sept, 2016, 70 percent of the 5,934 returnee and IDP families assessed in eastern region lack container for water storage and have not proper hygiene material.

Rural Rehabilitation Association for Afghanistan (RRAA) has been involved in delivering WASH services in different provinces of Afghanistan, and in order to facilitate safe drinking water and to improve sanitary condition in the targeted communities will continue to work in this sector for its strategic period of 2018-2021.

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