News: Humanitarian aid distributed to residents in Zendanan and Noorzai
Story by Capt. Kevin Sandell
ZHARAY DISTRICT, KANDAHAR PROVINCE, Afghanistan – Afghan and coalition security forces distributed humanitarian aid, Dec. 6, to local villagers in Zendanan and Noorzai, in central Zharay district, and were met with welcoming arms from the residents who were visibly appreciative of the assistance.
Soldiers from the 2nd Kandak, 3rd Brigade, 205th Afghan Army Corps, along with their partners from Combined Task Force Spartan’s 4th Squadron, 4th Cavalry Regiment, distributed bags of rice, beans, cooking oil, flour, tea leaves, winter jackets, and hand crank radios to approximately 50 families from both villages. A man from the village allowed the Afghan and coalition security forces to use his residence as a temporary patrol base for the Soldiers to rest and refit prior to continuing their missions nearby. The man was compensated by the Afghan army, and also given a humanitarian aid bag.
Leaders from the 3rd Brigade, 205th Corps and 4-4 Cavalry Squadron, were able to sit down with many of the villagers and talk about the local area and what they saw for the future of Afghanistan. The residents were surprisingly open to speak to the soldiers, who say the villagers’ ease in approaching them was encouraging and showed their increased confidence in the Afghan and coalition security forces.
Leaders from the Zharay district government have hosted multiple events where they distributed humanitarian aid throughout the area. In fact, many of the items have been donated by residents living in Kandahar City, approximately 15 kilometers to the east. As the weather gets colder and the winter season sets in, Afghan and coalition forces leaders say distributing the aid will become increasingly more important. Zharay district is primarily a rural area where local farmers live with their families.
Much of the “non-lethal” fight in Zharay district focuses on providing essential services like water and irrigation, schools and clinics, and even increased agricultural opportunities for the families who live in the district. Government and military leaders know that the insurgents cannot provide services to the people, and are responsible for approximately 80 percent of civilian casualties in the area, while also undermining the district government’s efforts.