Saturday, May 30, 2009

Housing development for disabled people in Afghanistan opens

From BBC News:

A purpose-built housing development for people left disabled by the three decades of violence in Afghanistan has been completed in the capital, Kabul.

It is believed to be the first such major facility for disabled Afghans.

More than one million people are disabled from conflicts that have plagued Afghanistan over the years.

But facilities and official help for such people are extremely limited in what is one of the world's poorest and most violent countries.

The housing development, comprising 200 homes, has been handed over to its future residents in Kabul.

The houses have three rooms for living and sleeping, plus a kitchen and two toilets.

A committee was created to decide who should get the homes and it ruled that they should go to badly-disabled, married people who are already resident in Kabul.

One such person is Maneezha, who said she was very pleased about her new home.

"I lost both my legs in a mine explosion and I'm the mother of six children. How can a disabled person build a life without help? It was very difficult before, but now I'm happy," she said.

The development cost $4m and has on-site health facilities, a school and a mosque.

It was paid for by the United Arab Emirates which said it would fund more such projects.

Some disabled people complained that they were eligible, but not given a home.

The Afghan government says that with so many disabled people in the country it is not possible to help everyone.