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In the remote villages of Afghanistan’s Central Highlands, many families still spend hours every day collecting water

“Where do we start?” said Niaz, 51, father of nine children. “There are so many stories about how difficult it is to fetch water. A lot goes wrong, a lot of people get hurt.”

One year, Niaz fell and broke his leg while fetching the water. His wife Wahida, 48, had to take over, but she was pregnant at the time.

I brought a clay pot and went very slowly to the river,” she began. “I had to walk for an hour to get there. It was so incredibly cold with a lot of snow and ice. When I arrived at the river, it was completely frozen and there was nothing to break the ice to take the water. Finally I found a stone, smashed through the ice, and gathered enough water to fill the clay pot. I was very tired.

"When our parents were ill, " Mohammed, 7

Medair’s work in Afghanistan is supported by Swiss Solidarity, Global Affairs Canada, Canton of Zurich, UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, World Food Programme, and the generous support of private donors.

This content was produced with resources gathered by Medair field and headquarters staff. The views expressed herein are those solely of Medair and should not be taken, in any way, to reflect the official opinion of any other organisation