2021.06.18

Voice of Project Participant - DI Kahn district in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province

Mr. Qamar-ud-Din is 55 years old and a father of four children. He was left with disability due to a traffic accident four years ago and he has not been able to move now. He said his salary was the only source of income for his family. His village is very far from the main city of D.I.Khan. There is no proper road infrastructure and transportation is inconvenient. It was really hard for him to go to major cities every day to earn something. Currently, his livelihood is entirely dependent on livestock, but terrible locust attacks deprived livestock of grazing feed. Livestock is getting weaker due to shortage of feed, but he cannot afford to buy feed.

In this way, JEN's pre-project survey revealed that Mr. Qamar 's life is in a very difficult situation. JEN team provided feed for his cattle and will vaccinate and deworm his cattle soon.

Mr. Qamar said, “On behalf of my family and my community, I would like to thank the Government of Japan, Japanese people, and JEN for their humanitarian efforts to feed our livestock.  Training community members to handle future locust attacks will keep our agriculture and livestock safe.”

June 18, 2021 in Pakistan |

2021.05.26

Lifestyle has changed after the completion of a well and water standpoints

The construction of a well and water stand points completed through the project for improving the water and sanitation environment in Nangarhar province, Afghanistan. A handover ceremony was held to mark the occasion. Commemorative turbans and tools needed to maintain the well and solar panels were gifted to members of the Well Management Committee (WMC). From now on, WMC will take the lead in managing and operating the well, using the maintenance fees collected from the residents.

The construction of these new facilities has brought a positive impact on the lives of the villagers. The residents used to travel to streams and wells far away from their homes (often 3 km or more) many times a day. They would spend most of the day to secure water they needed for living. Since it’s common for children and women to fetch water, they couldn't go to school or had no choice but to sacrifice work or household chores. One of the villagers used to go to an unsanitary water source about 5 km away every day. She was delighted that the new water standpoints in the compound would increase her free time and would enable her to focus on the cultivation of agricultural products.

Children are now able to go to school and mosques, and have time to play cricket or volleyball. Some of the adults say, “We now have time to work in the city and can bring food to the table for our families”, and “We can focus on household chores, childcare and breastfeeding.” Some people can now make an income from home gardening, livestock or handicrafts.

Additionally, diarrhea has been reduced thanks to hand washing with safe water and soap with a proper hygiene knowledge. It has become possible to take measures against Covid-19 at home. Some people even feel that they have become healthier by the improved hygiene environment. The internally displaced people in the village with limited personal belongings expressed that the water tanks distributed by JEN helped them to secure safe water at home.

Previously, the water sources were so far away that there were various difficulties to the lives of the residents. However, the construction of a well and water standpoints has given them more time to spare in their daily lives. The better hygiene knowledge has improved their health conditions as well. Many possibilities have seemed to arise, which will lead to their independent future.

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Solar panels that generate power for pumping, and the completed water reservoir

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Training for maintenance of a well and water standpoints

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Voluntary cleaning activities by WMC

May 26, 2021 in Afghanistan |

2021.05.06

Water and sanitation support program: Interview with a beneficiary

Ms. Mehnaz Bibi is a 41-year-old housewife living in a village Pewarh, Tribal District Kurram and a mother of five children. She visits Zanana Hospital, Parachinar to receive medical treatment for her family. JEN team interviewed her during post-project monitoring.  She said, “I often come to this hospital especially in winter when my children are sick. Most of women from our area prefer to visit this hospital because it has very excellent doctors.”

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Ms. Mehnaz Bibi interviewed by JEN staff

Regarding the situation before the start of the project, Ms. Mehnaz Bibi said, "If necessary, my children excreted outdoors and I went to a nearby house (next to the hospital) to use the toilet. The neighbors voluntarily let us use the toilet, but sometimes they did not allow us to use it. In that case, I went to Imam Bargah (Shia mosque) located at 10-minute walk from the hospital, and it was painful to walk such a long distance. Additionally, it was embarrassing as there were so many men in Imam Bargah."

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A toilet at the hospital before the start of the project

Furthermore, she added, "This hospital is mostly visited by women. I met several women who visited the hospital during menstruation and they were so anxious about their problems. Some women have problems specific to female, and they also need to go to the toilet frequently to replace the sanitary cloths or pads. For women, especially people with disabilities, visiting a hospital without a toilet was a nightmare. Thank you so much for giving women great peace of mind." In this project, women's toilets were equipped with trash cans so that sanitary napkins could be disposed of. These toilets also have mirrored shelves where women can place sanitary napkins and cloths. A wall was also built in front of the toilet to protect the privacy of female patients.

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A wall-mounted women's toilet designed to protect privacy

Unlike before, patients now have access to enough toilets in number, suitable in the hospital. JEN constructed sanitary facilities with two separate toilets for women and two for men. In addition, out of the two separate toilets for both men and women, one is equipped with a Western-style toilet for people with disabilities to access it easily. Patients can now visit the hospital in a much more relaxed and better environment.

※This project is being implemented with a grant from the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) and a donation to JEN.

May 6, 2021 in Pakistan |

2021.04.27

“I’ve never used soap in my entire life.” <A participant’s interview>

Mr. Samar Ahmad[Male, 43 years old]

Location:Guldara Village, Chaparhar

“For the first time in my life, I heard about using soap for enhanced sanitation from the hygiene specialist. I have never even thought of using one in my entire life before.”

We interviewed Mr. Samar Ahmad, the head of the family of 13, wives of 2, sons of 6, daughters of 4 living in the neighbourhood of JEN’s project site for constructing a solar-powered pipeline providing clean water. Mr. Samar Ahmad was also keen on gaining new knowledge through the hygiene education sessions provided by JEN in September 2020.

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Mr.Samar Ahmad on the interview. March 24, 2020

Mr. Ahmad: “I now have become aware of a method for water purification, critical times throughout a day for handwashing, various types of hygiene (personal, environmental and oral) and food safety.”

Q: “I heard you have never heard of soap, is that right?”

A (Mr. Ahmad): “Well, I knew about soap but I have never used it before because I wasn’t aware of its priority for enhancing our hygiene situation, and we couldn’t afford it. Although, ever since we received the hygiene education and the kits, we equipped ourselves with a new daily routine, and started using soap every day ”

Q: “I understand that poverty interferes with your affordability of soap. Would it be financially difficult to prioritize soap?”

A: “I don’t think so. For now, we use things in the hygiene kits that JEN gave us, which include 5 bar soaps, a nail clipper, 3 tubes of toothpaste, 6 toothbrushes, 3 toilet paper rolls, 2 boxes of tissue, 2 towels, a pack of sanitary pads, and 21L water tank. Even after we use up the soap, we’ll buy more because it certainly taught us the benefit of using one. Using soap in hand washing significantly reduced the likelihood of catching diseases and experiencing diarrhea caused by unfiltered water. We now confidently know that some health issues were related to unsanitary surroundings”

Diarrhea and diseases caused by contaminated water have been very common among people in this region as they had no custom of using soap in their daily lives traditionally. These problems have made it difficult for children to go to school and for adults to go to work.

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The net over dishes prevents insects from spreading diseases.

Mr. Samar Ahmad: “I’m really grateful for the people in Japan for providing us hygiene education and the kits, and ensuring our access to safe drinking water by laying out pipelines and water standpoints per compound. We can save so much medical cost since we don’t get sick as much as we used to.”

“I would love for JEN to host livelihood support programs with human resource development in the future so that more people can become qualified for various employment opportunities. Thank you for your swift response.”

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A new standpoint built in front of Mr. Ahmad’s house.

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A newly constructed toilet.

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The house of Mr. Ahmad’ family.

April 27, 2021 in Afghanistan |

2021.04.06

Interview with a beneficiary on COVID19-related emergency aid

Mr. Syed Habib Hussain is a resident of Zerhan town. There are 17 people in his family.

In the interview, he told us, "I tried to avoid outdoor activities during the pandemic. But I needed to open my shop because there was no livelihood to support my family other than running the store. I abided by the rules of the Standard Operation Procedure (SOP) from the government. But unfortunately, I got infected with coronavirus through the business. My own quarantine was too late to stop the infection in my family, which worsened our situation. District administration department forced us to keep staying home, and none of my family was permitted to go outside. I had some savings, but that wasn't enough, and I needed to borrow money from my friends to buy what we need every day. I closed my shop, and the situation was getting worse."

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Mr. Syed Habib Hussain explaining the situation of his family to JEN staff.

He further stated, "Now I was allowed to open the shop, but I had to borrow a lot of money from my friends. I was worried about the repayment very much, but I felt relieved to know that JEN distributes food to the families affected by the new coronavirus. It makes a lot of sense to me, because this help can save me food and pay back to the people who helped me. "

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A JEN staff taking a note of some comments on JEN's support from Mr. Syed Habib Hussain.

April 6, 2021 in Pakistan |

2021.03.29

Progress of the water and sanitation project in Chaparhar district

The water and sanitation project in Chaparhar, Nangarhar province, which we started in September 2020, is close to the finish line. Here is an update on the project.

We construct a well, a water reservoir, and water standpoints through the project. The quality and the safety of water drawn from the well has been confirmed, and the water reservoir construction will be completed soon.

The residents can access safe drinking water easily upon completion of the water standpoints and the placement of pipes to connect between the standpoints and the reservoir.

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Water reservoir will be ready soon!

Hygiene education is one of the main components of the project. We delivered lectures on the importance of public hygiene, which has not been taken so seriously in this region, and the necessity of proper hand washing with soap, which has become more important than ever under the Covid-19 pandemic, with respect for Afghan cultural background. We also handed a hygiene kit which includes soaps, toothbrushes, water tank, etc., to each household so that the people can put our lecture into practice.

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Hygiene kits for practicing what the people learned are waiting to be delivered.

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We handed the hygiene kits after the session. Participants checked inside the bags.

There were four sessions in the hygiene education course. Even before the completion of the course, we could see the change in the awareness and action of the people. Many people told us that they started cleaning up their premise or building a toilet.

We will finish this project by April. We will report the situation after the completion of the project on this website.

March 29, 2021 in Afghanistan |

2021.03.16

Disaster prevention study session for parent and child

After Typhoon Hagibis (Reiwa 1 East Japan Typhoon), we, JEN, have done our best to support disaster recovery in Marumori-machi. We held study sessions 25 times with 516 participants last year. In these sessions, a family with a disabled child raised the problem of difficulty in evacuation. Furthermore, there is an opinion that disabled children need to learn how to save their lives in a disaster while alone.

Following these opinions, on February 7, we held a study session for parents of disabled children. At a discussion after the study session, some participants pointed out the necessity of regular training sessions, disaster shelters designed for disabled people, separate space in shelters for each family, etc.

We sincerely appreciate the great help from the Marumori-machi Handicapped Children's Parents Association. We hope the continuous support from participants of the study session, the health and welfare department of Marumori-machi and all the residents from Marumori-machi.

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Brochures on disaster and disabled children

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Fire safety precaution

March 16, 2021 in Tohoku earthquake |

2021.02.09

Development of Safe & Healthy Environment for Female Education

Amra is a 12-year-old girl living in Sarpakh village. She told JEN staff, “Education meant a lot to me in my life. Educated people can help and support others more effectively.” Amra also said, “I was disappointed of losing my friends because they were stopped from going to school by their families due to the lack of appropriate boundary walls. At that time, we were seen from the outside because the boundary wall was not high enough. But, since new boundary walls were installed now, we can walk around freely, enjoying sports. I told my friends that JEN made the wall. I hope my friends will come back to school again, as it’s safe and private.”

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Amra also said, “I was excited with new books given by JEN. As a lover of embroidery and cooking, I want to study to take in new knowledge and techniques in a spare time with some books on embroidery and cuisine I found.”

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Amra reads a cooking book at the library.

February 9, 2021 in Pakistan |

The Activities of Residents’ Association in Marumori town

Today, we introduce about the activities of residents in Marumori town who have taken part in workshop of JEN. The community support group "Connect Feelings", a group that aims for a safe life in Marumori town rich in nature, is holding study sessions to know and protect the current state of the forest and sessions to enhance the strength for disaster prevention in the area in order to find the root cause of the disaster that occurred in Marumori town. The picture below shows an on-site inspection tour for protecting forest and mountain after the disaster, and a disaster prevention workshop in Marumori and Nango area.

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How will each of us face the disasters that occur frequently around the world? Many people seem to realize the time has come when we think again the factor of disaster.

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Hazard map by residents in Marumori and Nango area

Jen will continue to think and solve problems from a sustainable perspective in Marumori town, like the group we introduced today. Thank you for your continued cooperation.

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Inspection of the mountainous area in Marumori town

February 9, 2021 in Tohoku earthquake |

2021.02.02

Conducted the Monitoring of Winterization Support

At the beginning of December, JEN distributed winterization relief supplies to 78 households who lost their house due to the heavy rain and flash floods in Eastern Afghanistan. One week after this, we visited 25 households who received the supplies to see if they had any problem or question on the use of the supplies. Sandali, one of the distributed items, is a heating material used with charcoal. At the distribution venue, JEN had explained the proper use of Sandali to avoid getting burnt or causing fire. This time we confirmed their ignition procedure and checked whether they understand it correctly.

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We were able to confirm that all the households we visited utilized the supplies and were satisfied with these qualities.

These days, the minimum temperature in Charikar has been below the freezing point. JEN hope this project supports those who lost their house to survive the cold winter and to reconstruct their lives.

February 2, 2021 in Afghanistan |