Data Gathered Date: 

Sunday, March 31, 2013 - 16:30

AIBAK: The people of Samangan want the next president to provide them clean drinking water and construct school buildings for children who are studying in tents or under trees.
The people of this province dig holes to store rain and snow water and then use it for drinking and other purposes. According to locals, the water level in Samangan is very low and people cannot dig deep wells without the assistance of the government.
As for schools, officials say the province has 219 schools, but only 81 of them have proper buildings. The province is located some 300 kilometres from Kabul and consists of six districts.
The provincial council of Samangan has nine seats. Of them, three have been reserved for women. Eighty people, including seven women, are among the candidates for the total nine seats in the province.
The above report is prepared on the basis of interviews with people the provincial capital and some districts. Four of the interviewees are women.
NGO worker: Impure water
Aqila, a 27-year-old woman from the provincial capital of Aibak, says, “We are drinking impure water of streams.” She is working in a nongovernmental organization.
Aqila says there are some 200 houses in her area. She says the impure water causes diseases.
She says she is taking part in the elections and wants the next president to ensure provision of clean drinking water to the people of Samanagan.
She says her financial condition has improved over the past few years and now has a job and is earning money.
Farmer: Land was captured
Muhammad Usman, 35, resident of the Shalo Kato village of Hazrat Sultan district, is taking part in the election to use his right to vote for betterment of the country.
Usman said, “My land was captured in Qazantoon Bajaq area by the powerful men during the era of jihad in 1978 and it is still controlled by those people.” He visited several courts, but to no avail. He wants the next president to help him get back his land.
About the performance of the present government, he said some schools had been constructed in his area and living conditions have improved. He knows only three of the 37 candidates.
Alia: Carrying water
Alia, 28, resident of Sarqina Uzbakia village of Hazrat Sultan district, is bringing water in a jar on her head from the river several kilometers away.
She is a housewife. Along with the problem of impure water, she also complains about unemployment. She says their men are going to other provinces and even to Kabul for jobs.
Eager to take part in the elections, Alia says the next president should address the problem of drinking water and unemployment in Samangan.
She is not happy with improvement in her life conditions in the past few years. However, she says, the security situation has been improved and her children are now at school.
Student: We have no university
Eighteen-year-old Nooria is studying at the Larghan higher secondary school in the provincial capital. She says she is taking part in the election to change the destiny of her country.
She says, “We have no university in Samangan and there is no arrangement” for her after completion of her education. She wants the next president to construct a university in the province.
Malaka: Election is of no use
The 39-year-old Malaka is a resident of Sarghani village of the provincial capital of Samangan. She is uneducated and a housewife. She is not taking part in the elections, believing that the president has already been chosen by the foreigners.
She complained about lack of clean drinking water. She says she has no expectations from the next president. “Anyone who becomes the king, does nothing for the people.”
She says they have gotten rid of the warlords during the present government and security situation has improved. She knows only Hamid Karzai among the candidates.
Farmer: No pure water
Muhammad Hakeem, 57, is a resident of Ravi Do Aab district, who wants a just president in the elections.
According to him, “Clean drinking water is the big problem.” He says they were using water of streams which are full of smell and impurities.
The need for road construction and construction of schools are other problems. He demanded construction of a road leading to his village and district.
Student: No religious seminaries
Nineteen-year-old Abdul Khaliq is resident Masoud village of Darra-e-Souf district. He says there are few mosques and madrasas in his district. He says the next president should construct mosques and provide clean drinking water to people.
He says security has been improved in the present government and children are going to schools.
Shopkeeper: Illegal checkpoints have stopped
Shafiullah, 38, is a resident of Alma village of Khurram and Sarbagh district. He is participating in the elections to change the destiny of the country.
Like others, he also complained about lack of clean drinking water.
He said financial conditions of people have been improved in the past few years. He is happy that the barricades of warlords and armed men along the road had been removed now.
Teacher: Security situation improved
Muhammad Nazeer, 51, is resident of Larghan district of the provincial capital. He is participating in the elections to bring change.
He said no irrigation and drinking water are the big problems of his area. He wants the next president to address those problems.
He said security situation had been improved as compared to the past.
Trader of dry fruit: Illegal forced taxes ended
Muhammad Kabeer, 48, is resident of Aira Ghali village of the provincial capital. He says armed groups were operating in the area and were extorting money from people. But he said the problem has stopped now because the armed groups of criminals have been stopped from doing this forced collection of money and crops.
He said the security situation had been improved in the past seven years. Life of people has also improved but lack of clean drinking water is still a problem.