PAN (Translated by RAWA), May 23, 2008

Afghan Man Dies of Hunger Along With his Wife

Haji Abdullah, member of the Provincial Council of Samangan province said, “The elders informed me about the death of a hungry mother and father. This is the start of a disaster.”

Mohammad Birat

A man and his wife in Dare Sawf Payeen district of Samangan province died of hunger. 55-year old Gul Murad lived a life of poverty in the Zedori village with his wife Anar Gul and eight children.

Saif-ul-Rahman Samit, the mayor of Dare Sawf , quoting from Abdul Khaliq, Gul Murad’s wife’s brother, told PAN that Gul Murad had asked for eatables from his relatives a month back but they were also poor and so couldn’t help him. He also said that the man was too ashamed to beg lived in hunger and poverty with his wife and children.

Many poor families across Afghanistan are forced to sell their children due to extreme poverty.

“Gul Murad had not had food for four days. He died of hunger. When the people were burying him his wife went unconscious. When she was being taken to the Mazar-e-Sharif Hospital for treatment, she died on the way. At first the people thought she had died of the sadness caused by her husband’s death but later found out that she too had not eaten anything for days and had died of hunger,” he said.

Abdul Khaliq said, “When I went to my sister’s husband’s (Gul Murad) home I saw that there was not even a grain of wheat. The food that Gul Murad secretly brought from outside were given to his eight children so they would not die of hunger.”

Gul Murad’s children range from one to ten years of age and his wife had given birth to twins four times. His children were given to relatives and friends to be taken care of.

Haji Abdullah, member of the Provincial Council of Samangan province said, “The elders informed me about the death of a hungry mother and father. This is the start of a disaster.”

He added that the economy of 95% of the people of Samangan depends of wheat and livestock. “The poorest people live in Dare Sawf Payeen. But this year since there was no water the people had been reduced to a condition of famine,” he said.

This member of the Provincial Council claimed that more than seven thousand families have left Dare Sawf due to poverty and lack of food and 30 thousand youngsters have gone to other provinces and even Iran to find work.

Haji Abdullah said that he had told the governor and other authorities of the problems of the people but no one had paid the least attention to the hard and unbearable conditions of the people.

Abdul Wadud, one of the elders of Dare Sawf Payeen also claimed the same thing.

Ghulam Sakhi, deputy of Samangan province confirmed the deaths true and said that five thousand families in Samangan, including Dare Sawf Payeen, have no food and need urgent help. He said that he had reported the problem to the National Emergency Committee in Kabul, but no action has been taken yet.

He also said that organizations should pave the way for people to have jobs; otherwise the present conditions of Samangan could give rise to a human catastrophe.

Hunger has reached such heights in Samangan that some time back a man was forced to divorce his wife and give away three of his small daughters to relatives and other people to be taken care of, because he could not provide them food.

50-year old Muhammad Ali, resident of Niman village of Aibak (capital of Samangan) gave away his 30-year old wife (Zakira) and daughters (who were aged between two and seven) to others due to poverty.

Hunger and poverty in winters also created a calamity in Kunduz province. Mahbooba a 26-year old girl who was disabled lived in a rental house in Kunduz with her 40-year old husband who was ill. She sold her four month old baby girl (Wahida) to the owner of the house, for a little money, food and the rent.

Also, a family in Chah Aab district of Takhar province sold their nine-month old daughter due to poor financial conditions and hunger. They sold her for twelve thousand Afghanis to one of the residents of the area, but Abdul Latif Ibrahimi, the governor of Takhar paid the money to the buyer and returned the child to her mother.

A woman in Heart also gave away her small child due to similar problems to one of her relatives.

Characters Count: 4791

URL for news «Afghan Man Dies of Hunger Along With his Wife»