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Afghanistan. When the Water Runs Dry: What is to be done with the 1.5 million settlers in the deserts of southwest Afghanistan when their livelihoods fail?

In the last 5 years 48,000 new houses were built in the barren deserts of southwest Afghanistan. This population of almost half a million people migrated to this inhospitable terrain despite the expense and back breaking work involved in setting up home:  clearing and levelling the land for farming; building a house from the dry desert soil; and most importantly, digging a deep well to tap the groundwater beneath and bring the desert to life. In moving to the deserts of Helmand, Nimroz and Farah, these new arrivals joined an existing population of around 1 million people who since 2003 had made this same painstaking journey, the vast majority of whom settled after 2008, seven years after the Taliban regime had fallen. (David Mansfield, Afghanistan Research and Evaluation Unit (AREU) Shahr-i-Naw, Kabul, Afghanistan, 23.05.2022)