Data Gathered Date: 

Monday, July 1, 2013 - 13:00

LASHKARGAH (PAN): Growing insecurity, administrative corruption, joblessness, and low literacy rate amid sinking quality of education are among some serious problems that continue to boil in the southern Helmand Province, residents say.   
They said that there is complete absence of water canals while authorities are unwilling to implement the development projects, which they said, would go a long way to address the problems of the war-weary people in the long-run.
Jan Mohammad, a resident of Lashkargah city raging insecurity and administrative corruption in government departments are the main hurdles that hampering development activities in the province. He said the Afghan government failed workout a tangible policy, which would help remove problems of the people.
“Even 20 percent development activities are not being implemented in the province at a time when a large number of people have been suffering joblessness,” Muhammad said.
Thousands of children have been deprived of education, he said, adding that there are no adequate health facilities for the people of the volatile region. He went on to say that nonprofessional individuals discharging their duties in government departments, are the main source multiplying problems of the people.
“Many of the employees in the government departments have no relevant knowledge and skill and thus are unable to deal with the problems of the people,” he added.
Despite the fact that 80 percent of the economy of the people depends on agriculture and livestock, he said, adding but the poor agriculture system left many people jobless.
He blamed the Afghan government for not paying any attention to initiate development projects in the districts.
He said that the distribution of unbalanced development programme is another source of problem that breeds militancy and encourages residents toward poppy cultivation in the area.
Ahmad Ghazi, a resident of Khoskabi area of Lashkargah city held the Afghan government responsible for failing to establish a stable mechanism for promotion of good governance and to hire competent individuals purely on merit basis.
He went on to say that people have no advance option to use in the agriculture sector but they have to depend on the old and outdated agriculture system that was in use 50-years back. He said that the entire infrastructure including the agriculture sector, roads, and water canals are in shambles and dilapidated condition, forcing the farmers to sell their agriculture products on throw away prices in the local markets or neighboring countries.
“The Afghan government is unable to ensure stringent security measures in remote parts of the province or provide the people with enhanced security,” Syed Noor, a resident of Greshk District said.
He said that the sense of insecurity is among the major problems being faced by the people, adding that their problems have been multiplied in the wake of absence of schools and health facilities. He went on to say that there is no proper mechanism for the people to convey their grievances to the government.
Noor said that contracts of reconstruction projects are being awarded from one person to another leading the contractor to use low quality materials in the projects.
There is poor coordination among the security forces, which contribute to the problems of Helmand residents, he said, adding that the security forces, most of the time, leave the areas on the mercy of militants after every clean up operations.
The saga of lack of coordination leads to widening gap between the security forces and people of the area, he added. He said that most of the people in remote parts of the province have been made hostage by the militants.
A tribal elder from Garamsir district, speaking on condition of anonymity said the town witnesses greater activities by the insurgents, which create major problems for the residents. Some development projects have been implemented in the area with special reference in the agriculture sector but the government will yet build water dams and explore measure to save the water of the Helmand River from going waste.
Abdullah, a resident of Kajaki District said Afghan government has yet to implement any project in his town. He said Kajaki is an agricultural District, which contains 360 water canals “Karizz” in Zamindawar area of the district. However, these water canals are yet to be rehabilitated.