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Upgrading Informal Settlements in Kandahar City

Background and Objectives

Causes of human insecurity in informal settlements of urban Afghanistan where more than 70 per cent of city population reside are numerous. Social exclusion, poor sanitation, lack of safe drinking water, high vulnerability to natural disaster, absence of health and education facilities are common in any informal settlement. The settlements are established on marginal land by people who are very poor and do not have any access to land. The settlements are characterized by lack of basic infrastructure. In the absence of basic services, the living conditions are poor, unhygienic and prone to all kinds of threats and disease. The inhabitants also live in fear of eviction or relocation.

The project took a human security approach to upgrading by addressing the root causes of insecurity, acting as a catalyst in key areas, including land tenure, basic services, representation and participation in planning and decision making. The aim is to increase protection of vulnerable groups living in informal settlements in Kandahar, including returnees, IDPs, and widow-headed households, by addressing the needs for secure tenure, shelter, and basic services.


The main activities include:
* Mobilise and establish community institutions;
* Ensure a secure place to live for all the families under the project by confirming security of tenure;
* Improve environmental and social conditions in informal settlements through the rehabilitation of neighbourhood infrastructure;
* Generate employment opportunities by developing opportunities through infrastructure upgrades;
* Introduce participatory planning model of local development to achieve good governance by building local capacity of municipality, Department of MoUD and other relevant development agencies.

Results (2008)

* Formed 11 new male and 11 female CDCs in all selected neighbourhoods;
* Formed 2 Area Development Councils (ADCs) in two selected area;
* Through empowering local communities, neighbourhood and family profiles were reviewed and prepared in all 25 CDCs;
* Developed 25 Community Action Plans (CAPs) (11 new and 14 old CDCs) which had facilitated identification and prioritization of community based infrastructure and services related projects;
* Developed 2 CAPs at the Area level;
* Developed 59 sub-contract projects (urban basic infrastructure and services);
* Generated direct job opportunities to both skilled and unskilled labours;
* Developed, approved and implemented more than 25 women's focused skill development and income generating projects on the ground;
* All the 25 CDCs and the municipality were supported by solid waste management related tools and equipments;
* Constructed 78 ECO toilets as sample and pilot case;
* CDCs became an effective platform to resolve local conflicts and reach consensus on any local development related issues.

Development Partners / Partners

Development Partners: Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA)
Partners: Kandahar Municipality, Department of Urban Development Municipality, CDCs and Government Line Departments

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