Building a New Home

On March 28th, the Integration of Displaced People´s Project (IDPP) reached an impressive milestone when it handed over its 1,000th shelter to a displaced family. The handover celebration took place in a settlement near Aybak City, Samangan Province. Since 2017, the project has been supporting displaced families in the provinces of Balkh, Herat, Jawzjan, and Samangan.

The new houses are ready to move in. A paint job will still follow. | © GIZ

Representatives of IDPP´s local partner institution, the provincial Directorate of Refugees and Repatriation (DoRR), as well as other high-ranking local figures were present. In their speeches they highlighted how crucial the Afghan-German Cooperation’s support has been to improve internally displaced people’s (IDPs) living conditions and even save lives.

At the event, 44 internally displaced families who have fled from conflict received a new home, bringing the total number of shelters constructed with IDPP’s support to 1,000. For almost three years, the families had been living under precarious living conditions and had struggled to make ends meet.

Many families are now proud houseowners | © GIZ

In the past, IDP families often had to share small, informal, and often crowded rentals scattered across Aybak. The danger of being thrown out of the rental was omnipresent. In addition, there were no proper sanitary facilities in place.

A year ago, the morale of the IDP community was low. Many people were frustrated with the conditions they had to live in. But then, the DoRR and IDPP began their work – with great success.

Throughout the last months, the project accompanied the families to verify their land titles. This bureaucratic process is already complex, and many IDPs are illiterate – another huge barrier. But with the Afghan-German Cooperation’s support, they were soon able to call themselves owners of a small plot of land.

IDPP also supported the families with obtaining land titles. | © GIZ

In November 2020, the construction works finally began. Many IDPs and some locals were involved in building the shelters and were able to earn an income this way. Already then, living conditions started to improve. At peak times, 200 men, both skilled and unskilled, realised their dream of building a house for them and their families. Today, they own a real home, complete with two rooms, a kitchen, and a bathroom.

The construction of the 1,000th shelter marks an important milestone for the project. However, the work is far from over and there are many more to come.