This is the Central Highlands area of Afghanistan where MCC will work in partnership with Medair. This photo shows check dams under construction,which will conserve rainwater and snow melt, and help prevent soil erosion.
MCC photo by John Williamson

This is the Central Highlands area of Afghanistan where MCC will work in partnership with Medair. This photo shows check dams under construction,which will conserve rainwater and snow melt, and help prevent soil erosion. 

WINNIPEG, Man. – More than 2,000 people in two districts of Afghanistan will soon receive training and new sources of income, as they deal with the impact of an ongoing drought.

The program by Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) – in partnership with Medair – has two main components.

More than 1,500 people will take part in a cash-for-work program that will help increase water infiltration by building check dams, contour trenches and terraces.

In addition, 1,100 farmers are being trained on agricultural practices. Eleven hundred women will receive training on household gardens, nutrition, and households will receive training on food hygiene.

Together, these programs will help people in the Waras and Markazi Behsud Districts deal with a drought that has plagued their area for eight of the past 11 years. Agricultural production is poor and access to water is scarce.

The cash-for-work and training program is planned for 2013 to 2016. The first year of the program will cost about $926,000. MCC is funding its portion from its account at the Canadian Foodgrains Bank.

MCC is also working with other partners in Afghanistan on several other programs, including trauma healing for women, peacebuilding, environmental education and vocational training.