MAZAR-I-SHARIF (Pajhwok): Laborers and daily wagers in Mazar-i-Sharif, the capital of northern Balkh province, are complaining about lack of work and ask the government to provide them with permanent employment opportunities.
According to the Department of Work and Social Affairs, averagely 800 workers daily gather at different areas of Mazar-i-Sharif city to find work.
The municipal square in the first district of the city is one of the areas where dozens of laborers gather every day to find work.
One of these workers, Khudaidad, who had come to Mazar-i-Sharif from Faryab province, said: “We come to this area every day to find work, but if I find work for one day, I stay unemployed for several days”.
He said: “I come from Faryab. I pay 3,000 afghanis house rent per month. If I get a job one day, I do not find it for several e days.”
He added in addition to lack of work, there had been a decrease in wages of workers as well.
In the past, a worker was paid 300 afghanis a day, but now people did not pay more than 250 afghanis, he said.
Sher Mohammad, another worker, also complained about lack of work and said: “I come here in the morning expecting to find work, but most of the time I find no work until the evening”.
He added: “Work was good in the past, we used to find work every day, but now we find work one or two days a week and stay unemployed the remaining days.”
Ahmad Farhad, another worker, requested the government to provide them with permanent job opportunities.
Syed Hussain, another worker, also made similar statements and said the government should provide employment opportunities to the youth so they avoided going to foreign countries for work.
On the other hand, the Department of Labor and Social Affairs of Balkh province acknowledged the complaints of laborers and assured them of providing work opportunities.
Nasir Ahmad Abu Khalid, director of labor and social affairs, said that the number of workers was increasing, but the department was trying to create jobs for these people by implementing development and community projects in coordination with relevant departments.
He said 800 workers used to gather in different areas of the provincial capital to find work on a daily basis.
Earlier, the caretaker government had said it was working on short-term and medium-term plans to reduce unemployment and create a national employment policy.