Life in the camps

In simple huts of hardened mud, thousands of Afghan families live in 30 refugee camps in and around Kabul. These informal settlements, often with simple tarps keeping out the rain and snow, are crowded and have little access to water, sanitation or fuel. They have few facilities. Some residents try to improve the camps by organizing digs for latrines or trash pits. Still, health issues abound and life is difficult.

 

 

The camps provide few ways to earn a living. Most residents were farmers, an occupation they can no longer practice without access to land. While occasionally the men may earn a day’s pay helping on a construction site or hauling goods, most families are dependent on aid. In winter, the bitter cold seeps into everything.

Why do the families live in the camps? Some are refugees from Pakistan or other countries, are unable to return home to their villages because it is unsafe or they were destroyed in the conflict. Others were driven from their homes when the fighting between the Taliban and the Afghan forces and NATO became too fierce, particularly in the Helmund and Kandahar provinces. Most families have suffered traumatic losses and injuries from the war.

 

For information on how you can organize a clothing drive to benefit these families, see Organize a Clothing Drive.

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