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Charikar is the capital of Parwan province in the center region of Afghanistan and the main city of Kohdaman valley. The city lies on the road 69 kilometers from Kabul to Northern provinces and is at the gateway to Panjshir valley. People would need to pass this city when they want to travel to Northern provinces like Baghlan, Kunduz, Samangan, Takhar, Balkh, Badakhshan, Bamiyan and Daykundi.

[View of the main square of Charikar city ]

Most of its residents are Tajiks and the spoken language in Charikar is Dari. Charikar is known for its arts, poetry, fruits and vegetable products such as grapes, cucumbers, tomatoes, etc. Charikar city is mainly known for its beautiful nature which has brought many beautiful promenades like Gul Ghundi (a beautiful mound full of purple flowers) where people come from other provinces for a picnic. Every year, the government officially celebrates the ceremony in Gul Ghundi.

[View of Gul Ghundi]

Ancient history says that Charikar was found by King Jamshid (known as King Yama) and later established by King Kanishka or Kushanians. After establishment of a new
textile factory in Jabal-u-Saraj in 1930s, the modern history of the city began.

[View of a carpet store in Charikar city]

But after that, Charikar turned into a battlefield during Soviet war and then Mujahiden war which lasted for many years and caused uncountable damages to the culture, knowledge and economy of the people. Since Charikar is a strategic city and the main gate to enter Northern provinces, the city was a border line between Taliban and North alliance during Talibans’ government which ruined the city and unfortunately,  for the last 15 years, the new government has not taken any development steps in Charikar.

Charikar is a small city with big population. Its single road has huge traffic (as it’s the main gate for Northern provinces). A person can find everything in this small city which were imported mainly from Kabul. Most of the population is farmers, some of them are government employees and others are skilled and unskilled labors. Many people’s economic condition  is under the poverty line.

Charikar is counted as one of the water scarce cities in Afghanistan, in which more than 80% of the people does not have access to safe drinking water. So a watering channel was designed and constructed in 1977. This channel comes from Panjshir river and flows towards south and finally enters Charikar. This water is not safe to drink but most of Charikar residents use it as drinking water.

Every day, many people and especially children are infected with different diseases caused by low levels of hygiene and drinking unsafe water. According to a research from 2015, most of these diseases are caused by drinking unhygienic water which comes from low level of economy. Another reason for inadequate healthcare is
unawareness of people on hygiene education and big population but a few health facilities.
In these circumstances, construction of new schools and clinics, upgrading  existing schools and clinics, conducting trainings and increasing awareness of the people can help the new generation enjoy a healthy life.

JEN has been working in Parwan province since 2002 and began implementation of WASH program in Charikar district from 2005. Another WASH project is planned for 2017 which aims to improve school environment and sanitation and hygiene through school teachers to their students and through them to their families and communities.

Zuhra Afshar
Field Officer

[Main Street of Charikar’s market]

[Cheese shop and on the back side view of a dry fruit shop]

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August 12, 2016 in Afghanistan |