The WaSH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) Project has been ongoing in a community in Afghanistan for nearly three years. Each week the WaSH team educates people about clean and safe water supplies, the need for good sanitation and use of toilets, and other health and hygiene related issues.
Operation Mercy has many groups in the vicinity of this community and has encouraged these groups to take responsibility for some of the issues in their community. They do this through the formation of a ‘Shura’ group: a group that promotes clean water and better sanitation and hygiene practices for the community. The Shura is made up of one representative leader from each of the WaSH groups, who meet once a month to discuss issues in the community and find ways to solve these issues. They are encouraged to look for their own solutions from within the community, rather than just ask for help from outside.
One month when the Shura met, they said that one of the wells in the community wasn’t working, and that part of the community was struggling to get clean water as a result. The Shura discussed the issue and decided that they could repair it themselves. They agreed to raise the money needed through the various WaSH groups within the community. Enough money was collected to repair the well. It was exciting to see their desire and willingness to work together, and the initiative they took to help one another and to ensure clean water for their community.