Bamiyan Panorama

Bamiyan Panorama

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Kabul River

A few old, and many new photos of the Kabul River.  Happy to see cleaning crews.  



Kabul River, Old Bridge, Bala Hissar in the Distance (date unknown)
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Stream of water flows in the dry bed of the Kabul River in Kabul, Afghanistan. 2006.
Stream of water flows in the dry bed of the Kabul River in Kabul, Afghanistan. 2006.

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Monday, July 17, 2017

Afghanistan Reconstruction Trust Fund

Here is a website regarding reconstruction of mining, water, power, gas, railway, road, private sector, skills, community benefit, steel mill, and land for the Country of Afghanistan.

http://www.artf.af/research/resource-corridor/aynak-water 

The site is full of information, studies, results, and information.  Below are two of many informational photos available on the website.


Water resources in the Logar and Kabul basin




Kabul aquifers and wells 
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http://www.artf.af/research/resource-corridor/aynak-water 

Monday, July 10, 2017

Yemen cholera cases pass 300,000 as outbreak spirals - ICRC


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A cholera outbreak in war-torn Yemen is thought to have infected 300,000 people in the past 10 weeks, the International Committee of the Red Cross says.
The situation has continued to "spiral out of control", with about 7,000 new cases every day, the ICRC warned.
More than 1,700 associated deaths have been reported, according to the UN.
Yemen's health, water and sanitation systems are collapsing after two years of conflict between pro-government forces and the rebel Houthi movement.
Cholera is an acute diarrhoeal infection caused by ingestion of food or water contaminated with the bacterium Vibrio cholera.
Most of those infected will have no or mild symptoms but, in severe cases, the disease can kill within hours if left untreated.
On 24 June, the World Health Organisation declared that Yemen was facing "the worst cholera outbreak in the world", with more than 200,000 suspected cases.
In just over two weeks, another 100,000 people have been infected - an increase the ICRC's Middle East regional director Roberto Mardini called "disturbing".


People infected with cholera receive treatment at a hospital in Sanaa, Yemen (6 July 2017)Image copyrightEPA
Image captionThe war has left less than half of Yemen's medical facilities functional

The WHO said on Saturday that 297,438 cases had been recorded, but the agency was still analysing the latest figures from the Yemeni health ministry on Monday.
The outbreak has affected all but one of Yemen's 23 provinces. The four most affected provinces - Sanaa, Hudaydah, Hajja and Amran - have reported almost half of the cases.
UN agencies say the outbreak is the direct consequence of the civil war, with 14.5 million people cut off from regular access to clean water and sanitation.
More than half of health facilities are no longer functioning, with almost 300 having been damaged or destroyed, and some 30,000 local health workers who are key to dealing with the outbreak have not been paid for 10 months.
Rising rates of malnutrition have weakened the health of vulnerable people - above all children under the age of 15 and the elderly - and made them more vulnerable to the disease.
Last week, the UN's humanitarian co-ordinator in Yemen warned that humanitarian organisations had been forced to divert resources away from combating malnutrition to deal with the cholera outbreak, raising the risk of a famine.
"If we don't get these resources replaced, then using those resources for cholera will mean that food insecurity will suffer," Jamie McGoldrick said. "We're trying to do our best, but it's very much beyond what we can cope with."


Map showing control of Yemen (24 April 2017)

Friday, July 07, 2017

The Afghan Tree Project

The Afghan Tree Project is a fundraising campaign which aims to replace trees in Afghanistan lost through decades of war and deliver fruit trees to families in urban areas.

Image may contain: sky, mountain, grass, plant, tree, cloud, outdoor and nature

Visit their Facebook page:  https://www.facebook.com/AfghanTree/

Visit their Website: https://www.globalgiving.org/projects/samsortya-tree-project/

1960's Afghanistan



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Kabul University Students at Graduation 1960s

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1962 Kabul

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Nomad grazing sheep, date not stated

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Afghanistan 1968







The ski school that defied the Taliban



The ski school that defied the Taliban


Matee Ullah Khan (right)Image copyrightBBC


When the Pakistani army drove the Taliban out of the Swat valley in 2009 Matee Ullah Khan was determined to rebuild the ski school and give children a chance to have fun.
Two years ago, the BBC reported on one man's attempt to revive Pakistan's only civilian ski school after it was destroyed by the Taliban. Dozens of readers and listeners wanted to help, and the school has now been handed more than a tonne of equipment.
"I wanted to do something to contribute to peace and harmony here so we had a small skiing competition," he says.
"Very few people came but I saw, for the first time, cheerful expressions on the faces of the children."
The school only had a handful of skis and two or three pairs of poles. Most children were learning on planks of wood with a pair of old shoes nailed into place - their poles were cut from the trees.

"The security situation was terrible under the militants, everyone was living in fear," says Khan, a silver-bearded former pilot.
He saw skiing as an ideal therapy for the children who had lived through this period."We were completely cut off. We saw many schools destroyed, there was no life for the children, they couldn't even go out and play or live normally."
"There are certain sports that make you brave. The thrill of coming downhill at high speeds makes you joyful, but it also makes you bold, it gives you courage. It gives you vigour to go forward and do other things in your life too," he says.

Man on skis

People in France, Canada, the US, Norway, Britain and Austria, contacted the BBC in the wake of the original report in 2013. They asked to be put in touch with Khan, offering to send equipment.
"But it was very difficult - there were the costs of transportation, customs duties to pay, the logistics were a problem and we had no money for all the taxes," he says.
One man from Switzerland, however, persisted. Marc Freudweiler of Villars eventually got through the bureaucratic slalom course and logistical whiteout and sent the school what it needed.
Freudweiler felt an affinity with Khan - his wife Tania is from Karachi and their three children are half Pakistani.

Mark Freudweiler and his wife TaniaImage copyrightMARK FREUDWEILER
Image captionMarc Freudweiler and his wife Tania

He appealed to his local ski club for help, and was overwhelmed by donations. "When they read the article, it struck a chord which resonated," he says.
Having collected almost two tonnes of equipment, the challenge was to transport it safely all the way to Swat. No easy task given the cost of shipping, the red tape at customs, not to mention the continuing security concerns in northern Pakistan.
Eventually Pakistani officials suggested the only sure way to get the kit to Malam Jabba was to enlist the help of the Ski Federation of Pakistan - an organisation founded by the Pakistani air force.
Freudweiler reluctantly agreed to accept their help in exchange for some skis. Khan says: "I agreed to it because if they also use the equipment for the promotion of the sport then we are working for the same cause."
Freudweiler's obsessive determination to help Khan has finally paid off - after a two-year struggle, the skis eventually arrived about a week ago.

Two boys with a snowboard
Matee Ullah Khan speaking to someone on skis
Image captionMatee Ullah Khan (left) is already showing people how to use the new skis
Man holding skis
People on skis

"When we unpacked all this equipment we were so joyful. My students were so happy. All different sizes of skis, snowboards, poles, ski shoes, warm clothing and helmets - each and everything properly packed and in good condition - it was like a dream come true," says Khan.
Freudweiler agrees that skiing is good for children. "It teaches them discipline and respect," he says. "It keeps them on the right track and teaches them skills for later on."
The children of Swat need to be brave - this is a generation that's been deliberately targeted by militants who have shot pupils at their desks.
I've often asked Khan if he's worried about more attacks. "Everyone feels fear. Anything could happen at anytime, anywhere," he says. "But this is how things are, this is our country, our area, we have to live here and we have to do what we can to contribute to building peace. But things are improving now."
Freudweiler says he's happy to have been able to offer a little help. "What Matee Ullah is doing is absolutely admirable and it's that kind of beacon in those regions which are needed everywhere."
The two men have become close friends and are already discussing future projects - Khan is keen to get a ski lift and equipment to prepare the slopes for skiers. He's also wondering if the Swiss can offer advice on how to rebuild the Swat Valley's tourist industry.
Khan's students should be warned though, now they have the proper kit they can expect their lessons to get a lot tougher, "Now we want some champions!" he says.

People on the ski slope in Swat

Matee Ullah Khan spoke to Rebecca Kesby for Witness on the BBC World Service.

Seeking Asylum

SARSTEDT, GERMANY - FEBRUARY 25: A woman from Afghanistan walks by a workshop while holding her son at the shelter where they live while their asylum applications are processed on February 25, 2016 in Sarstedt, Germany. Germany received approximately 1.1 million newcomers in 2015 and is now facing the arduous task of processing asylum claims and taking steps to integrate those whose applications are accepted.

(And the baby is so cute!)

Monday, January 16, 2017

‘Afghan girl’ Sharbat Gula in quest for new life

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-38640487