Over the past four decades, Afghanistan has suffered from prolonged conflict, adversely affecting the country on different fronts. Despite the overwhelming problems, Afghans have stood firm with resilience. One aspect which has contributed to this is internet connectivity and telecommunication services, which have improved to a great extent. Domestic and international telecommunication companies such as Roshan, among others, have offered communication and internet services. Today, a large majority of people benefit from internet services at different levels.
On 27 May, the Governor of the Gorno Badakhshan Autonomous Region (GBAO) Yodgr Fayzov presided a meeting to discuss the framework of the SECO funded Khorog Urban Resilience Programme (KURP). To guide the future sustainable growth of Khorog, the Aga Khan Agency for Habitat (AKAH) has partnered with UN-Habitat, experts in the field of resilient and sustainable urban and rural planning. KURP is a five-year initiative designed to set up the structures, systems and capacity to transform Khorog into a model resilient city, promoting sustainable economic growth and investment. AKAH focuses on preparing for both sudden and slow-onset disasters and works to ensure that poor people live in physical settings that are as safe as possible from the effects of natural disasters.
In Tajikistan, the Aga Khan Agency for Habitat (AKAH) has developed a holistic approach to Habitat Planning combining urban and rural participatory planning techniques with international best practice and local expertise to help communities to design a better future. AKAH’s approach reportedly unites data-driven decision-making with the vision and voice of the community. AKAH works with communities to plan how to make their neighborhoods, villages and towns safer and resilient and create opportunity for future generations.
Dr Musana, Consultant Obstetrician Gynaecologist at the Aga Khan University Hospital, Nairobi, writes that all pregnant women should attend prenatal care by skilled health providers in well-equipped health facilities. A pregnant woman should attend a minimum of four prenatal care visits, according to the World Health Organisation. Through regular prenatal care, women at a higher risk of having a pre-term birth will be identified much earlier and specific interventions to monitor them or offer supportive treatment can be instituted.
To develop solutions to help vulnerable and disaster-affected communities plan for a better future, the Aga Khan Agency for Habitat (AKAH), the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the design firm KVA MATx have collaborated on a case study on voluntary relocation. The partners looked at Basid village, located in the Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Region (GBAO) of Tajikistan, to develop a model for voluntary relocation planning. Building on AKAH’s Habitat Planning Framework and Hazard & Vulnerability Risk Assessments, the AKAH, MIT and KVA MATx team, together with the community, reportedly identified four main challenges: improving access to different areas; providing a water supply; enriching the land through soil and vegetation conservation; and creating safe village layout options. Onno Ruhl, AKAH General Manager, stated: “As natural disasters become more frequent and severe due to climate change, solutions to help communities rebuild and, when necessary, relocate are essential. The AKAH Habitat Planning Framework gives agency to displaced people to plan for a safer and better future.”