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“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.


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.


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.”


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


A newly constructed toilet.


The house of Mr. Ahmad’ family.

November 14, 2022 in Afghanistan |