The representation mission of Qatar Red Crescent Society (QRCS) in Afghanistan has completed a project to establish a central heating system at the marastoon (asylum) of the Afghan Red Crescent Society (ARCS) in Kabul.
Serving the asylum’s 700 residents, the new central heating system would alleviate their suffering in the cold weather as well as the health consequences of the winter, ensure convenient and humane living conditions and help avoid the risks of traditional ways of heating such as fire, QRCS said in a statement.
ARCS has five asylums in Kabul, Kandahar, Herat, Balkh and Nangarhar.
There are plans to establish more asylums in underserved provinces such as Kunduz.
These humanitarian projects face challenges such as meager resources, inadequate infrastructure and low living conditions, particularly during the winter.
The opening ceremony was attended by officials and community leaders, including Nilab Mobarez, secretary-general of ARCS.
“This project would improve the living conditions of the inmates and spare them the negative outcomes of using traditional ways of heating,” she said. “It is a healthy and environment-friendly project”.
Dr Mirwais Akram, undersecretary-general of ARCS, thanked QRCS for their contribution to the project, which met the needs of vulnerable persons.
He commended the efforts made and congratulated the beneficiaries for having such a vital demand for a modern heating system achieved.
Afghanistan has experienced recurrent drought, floods, earthquakes, landslides and other natural disasters that have weighed heavily on the already broken-down infrastructure, let alone lack of basic services and mass displacement, the statement notes.
Reports by the United Nations Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) show that Afghanistan is second among 189 countries in terms of limited capacity and resilience.
Around 39% of the population live below the poverty line.
As a result of the recent waves of refugees return from neighboring countries, more than 400,000 returnees need humanitarian aid, according to OCHA’s Humanitarian Response Plan.
Under a memorandum of understanding between QRCS and ARCS, the two-month project supplied water boilers, pumps, power generators, metal radiators, logistics and other equipment.
The heating unit facility is divided into two sections, one for the boilers and the other for the generator.
Underground steam cycle pipes were extended to all the rooms and corridors of the accommodation buildings.
Amin M Afdal, an inmate with an eight-member family, was excited because her kids would finally feel warm during the freezing season.