DAROONTA TAPA VILLAGE, Nangarhar Province – Abdul Wahab, 48, comes twice a week to the top of the mountain, where he can take in a full panoramic view of Jalalabad city and its surrounding areas. But Abdul Wahab doesn’t come only for the view. He comes to monitor a network of water pipes for leakage and cracks.
“From this mountain, you can see the Daroonta Tapa village,” Abdul Wahab says, pointing down to the valley. “Through a pipeline project, we can collect water from the mountain spring and run it through pipes to residents of the village.”
Each household of Daroonta Tapa village pays Abdul Wahab 70 Afghanis ($1.20) per month to monitor and maintain the water pipes. The village has more than 400 families, and is located slightly west of Jalalabad city, the capital of Nangarhar Province. Due to its dry climate and elevation—it lies 150 meters above sea level—the village has suffered from water shortages for years.
The water pipes were built in 2006 as part of the National Solidarity Program (NSP), which is currently in its third phase. NSP enhances service delivery and security through empowerment and development activities that communities themselves identify, plan, manage, and monitor. Implemented by the Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation and Development (MRRD) since 2003, the NSP continues to receive funding from a number of donors, including the World Bank, Afghanistan Reconstruction Trust Fund (ARTF), and Japanese Social Development Fund (JSDF).
The Daroonta Tapa project took four months to complete, at a cost of approximately $50,000. Most of this funding came from the MRRD’s NSP budget, but local villagers also contributed nearly $7,000 to the project.
Sayed Maqsoud, 43, an engineer involved in the implementation of the water pipeline project said that it was a difficult project to carry out. “Given the elevation of the area, it was not possible to dig water wells,” he says. “We began to seek other ways, and eventually decided to collect water from the nearby mountain to supply to people’s houses.”