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Joblessness surges under unity govt: Labourers

Joblessness surges under unity govt: Labourers

Aug 04, 2016 - 15:48

KABUL (Pajhwok): A number of labourers in capital Kabul complain joblessness has increased during the past two years and they are unable find work for a week in a month.

The joblessness has forced them into borrowing money from friends, the daily wagers say, lashing out at the government for failing to generate jobs and honour promises.

The labourers ask relevant officials to pay attention to the situation of poor people and create jobs for them.

Hayatullah, 36, a mason from Sheikh Ali district of Parwan province, told Pajhwok Afghan News he came with his family to Kabul from Parwan about half a month back to find work here. But he could not find work for a single day during the past 15 days despite waiting for employers everyday on the Taimani road.

Jobs vanished and people started suffering from unemployment after the national unity government’s coming into power, he said.

“Previously I was able to earn enough money and meet our daily needs in Parwan,” he said.

Hayatullah said he was currently living with his eight-member family in a house against 2,000 afghanis rent in Char Qalar area of Kabul city.

“I can earn 400 afghanis against a daylong work if there is any, but there are no work opportunities and as a result we have to suffer from problems and a difficult life,” he said.

Sultan Ali, 49, another labourer, a resident of Wazirabad area of Kabul, also said he used to look for employers on Taimani road.

“It is now 10am, but no one arrived to hire me,” said a disappointed Ali, who supports his five-member family. He said he hardly found work for five days in a month.

He said he could earn 3,500 afghanis a month by digging wells. He also believed job opportunities faded away after the formation of the national unity government.

The government was neither responding to people’s demands nor was it capable of doing something good, so people should not wait for government’s help, Ali added.

Another day labourer from Kabul, Mohammad Hassan, was suffering from similar problems: “Job opportunities are very limited this year, this situation developed when Ashraf Ghani became the president, people under Karzai leadership were very lucky and they found work every day.”

Hazrat Din, a painter who was waiting for employers in Charahi Yaqob square, also complained about joblessness.

He said he could earn up to 1,000 afghanis a day if found work. He said he came across work opportunities only three or four days in a month. He the money labourers earned could not meet their daily needs.

“I have borrowed essential home items from many neighbours’ shops. I hide from the shopkeepers when I go out or come home because they want their money,” he said.

Din said not only he, but a large number of people were suffering from joblessness.

Of around 500 labourers waiting for employers in Haji Yaqob Square, only 20 were hired and the rest returned homes disappointed around 11am, he said.

“I am 40 years old, but I look like 60 years old due to anxiety and worry, we came here for work. God created us for work and to worship Him, we are not created to be dishonored and beg America, India and Russia for help, we cannot enjoy a happy life as long as we rely on foreigners,” he said.

Jamil, a resident of Tagab district of Kapisa who was waiting for employers outside Pul-i-Khishti mosque in Kabul, said he came to Kabul for work, but only experienced joblessness.

He said people were not interesting to work on construction projects due to the conflict.

Only 40 out of 800 people waiting for work outside the mosque were employed and the rest remained unpicked.

Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs, Martyrs and Disabled (MoLSAMD) spokesman Abdul Fatah Eshrat Ahmadzai also said joblessness had increased in Afghanistan over the past two years.

He said joblessness surged after foreign forces’ withdrew from Afghanistan and international aid reduced.

However, Ahmadzai said the government had recently increased construction projects that would gradually reduce the unemployment graph.

He said the labour ministry had launched a programme to train and professionalize workers in order reduce joblessness.

A number of youth would also be sent to foreign countries by the ministry to learn new techniques and vocational skills.