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Afghanistan: Restoring access to clean water

07-08-2003 News Release 03/92

On 10 August, the ICRC will attend a ceremony held by the Afghan Central Authority for Water Supply and Sewerage (CAWSS) to celebrate the completion of work carried out by the Geneva-based organization to re-electrify the Logar well field.

The well field, situated east of the capital, is Kabul's main source of drinking water. The water is pumped from 10 deep wells to the Bagrami station, where larger pumps are used to send it to different parts of the city. Now that the pumps are running again, hundreds of thousands of residents will have access to a steady supply of drinking water.

Working in cooperation with the British Red Cross, the ICRC began the project in September 2002 by installing 149 electricity poles over a stretch of 7 km between Sub-Station East and the well field. In February 2003, the ICRC set up two transformers and a control station in Bagrami, and three transformers at the well field. It also serviced all existing generators and trained CAWSS personnel to operate and maintain the equipment.

The Logar well field and its pumping station, built in the early 1980s, provided 40 per cent of Kabul's piped water before the electricity supply was cut off during fighting in 1992.

In carrying out essential repairs such as these, the ICRC is accomplishing one of its main tasks in Afghanistan: to restore access to safe drinking water in areas where distribution systems have been seriously damaged by years of conflict.

 Further information: Simon Schorno, ICRC Kabul, tel.: ++873 761 24 22 60