Institute for War and Peace Reporting | Giving Voice, Driving Change

Garbage Problems In Lashkar Gah

Uncleared rubbish in the street poses health risks.
Most of Lashkar Gah’s residents complain about the amount of rubbish left lying in the streets, and doctors agree that it has already spread disease.

IWPR’s Maiwand Mubariz reports:

I am now in the centre of Lashkar Gah, one of the dirtiest of cities with a very poor environment. There is rubbish on the streets and roads, and it smells bad. There are no rubbish bins apart from a few small ones around the municipal buildings.

“Our environment smells really bad,” says Mahmood, a resident of the Karte Lagan neighbourhood. “The gutters are obstructed with rubbish. All our children are sick.”

In the Bost Hospital, many people are here because of disease caused by the rubbish. Among them is Zia ul-Haq, who says,

“I got diarrhoea and came to hospital. We don’t have clean water. Our environment is so dirty - too many mosquitos and flies.”

When we asked the municipality about the issue, Ghafor Jan, the head of the team that is supposed to clean up the city, complained of a lack of trucks.

“We have little capacity and few workers. We have only four trucks and the people don’t help us,” he said.

Dr Nisar Ahmad Barak told us that the increased level of sickness is caused by the lack of greenery, people’s failure to look after hygiene and their poverty:

“The health statistics are very poor. Low levels of literacy, the fighting, and disaster in our country - these are the reasons for epidemic diseases,” he said.

According to local people, the uncleared rubbish is a failure on the part of government and of Lashkar Gah’s citizens, and has contributed to dirt and contagious diseases.

Maiwand Mubariz, for IWPR in Helmand.