MAZAR-E-SHARIF, BALKH PROVINCE – For many years, residents in Kart-e-General Osman Asadi neighborhood in district 8 of Balkh’s provincial capital struggled with unpaved and poorly drained lanes. Sometimes the streets were dusty; at other times, muddy.
The community made many requests to have their lanes paved. Gul Ahmad, 56, a neighborhood resident, says they approached many organizations, but never got a positive response. “Unfortunately, our requests were disregarded every time, resulting in disappointment for the locals and creating low trust between the people and government.”
The residents’ frustration and lack of trust started to change after Citizens’ Charter Afghanistan Project (Citizens’ Charter) began work in Mazar-e-Sharif in April 2017. “At first, when the Citizens’ Charter employees came to us, we thought they were wasting our time, but slowly as they introduced their activities, we became interested and soon we established our own Community Development Council,” says Gul Ahmad, who was elected to head the council of 18 members, half of whom are women.
(CDC) and prioritize their needs. The CDC quickly organized around community members’ longstanding desire for paved lanes. The Kart-e-Asaid CDC became the first in Mazar-e-Sharif to start a sub-project under Citizens’ Charter.
The Citizens’ Charter is covering 75 percent of the total cost, while residents contribute the remaining 25 percent. “The concern in our residential area was the mud and dirty stagnant water in the lanes,” says Sima, 45, a CDC member. “As there is no recreational park near us, sometimes the children play games in the streets and fall ill as a result. Thanks to Citizens’ Charter helping us pave our lanes, that problem is being resolved for all the residents,” she adds.