Women Taking the Lead in Mobilising Resources for the Most Vulnerable Families in Drought-Affected Province of Ghor
Ghor is one of Afghanistan’s provinces severely hit by the drought in the recent years. According to the Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWSN), this crisis is particularly impacting poor households who are dependent on rainfed wheat production. The most vulnerable households are expected to experience difficulty meeting basic food consumption requirements until next year’s spring harvest.
In Joi Badal Ha village of Lal-wa-Sarjangal district of Ghor province, women are taking the lead in mobilizing resources for their grain bank to help the most vulnerable households.
Tahira, a member of the Community Development Council (CDC) established under the Citizens’ Charter National Priority Program of the Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation and Development (MRRD/CCNPP) explained: “The drought has deeply affected the people’s normal life in most parts of Ghor province over the past few years. Once the grain bank has been established in our community, we tried to encourage the affluent families to contribute to it in cash or in-kind. Once collected in the grain bank, the necessary food items are then distributed to the needy and vulnerable villagers at an appropriate time to make sure that no one in the village encounters hunger.”
Tahira is working regularly with women in her community to collect donations and relief including wheat, potatoes, clothing, home accessories, and cash for the grain bank. “Whatever collected in the grain bank through mobilization and participation of the community is being distributed to the most vulnerable households who are living in hardship”, she said.
Tahira, whose husband works as a daily wage laborer feels that it is the responsibility of better-off villagers to help vulnerable households in such difficult times.
Even though she is not formally educated, Tahira has been an active member of her CDC. She has been encouraging women to actively participate in CDC sub-committees and play a key role in facilitating the process of community resource map, social map, livelihood analysis, women mobility map, seasonal calendar, and the development plan of Joi Badal Ha village successfully.
As such, Tahira continues to focus on engaging her other village women in all Citizens’ Charter activities to make sure that their voice is heard throughout the program.
Citizens’ Charter is working with the Community Development Councils (CDCs) to establish grain banks in villages by encouraging better-off households to donate to very poor households during the lean season and help mitigate seasonal hunger.
The Citizens’ Charter carries a detailed well-being/poverty analysis in each community to identify and target the most vulnerable households, including women-headed households, IDPs, and households headed by people with disabilities. In addition to food supplies, communities’ in-kind contributions can include heaters, fuel, soap, blankets and other non-perishable goods. The donations are always voluntary.