As temperatures can dip below freezing in Kandahar during the winter, the Afghan Uniform Police (AUP) remain at their designated checkpoints day and night providing security in the cold. In a northern district of the province, small mud structures were recently built at each site; however, they are not sufficient enough to keep the forces warm. The police are responsible for maintaining a constant presence while fighting off insurgents and ensuring their district is protected; thus, they were looking for a heat source to use while guarding their posts and before going out on patrols so they could rest up comfortably and help reduce cold weather injuries. A Civil Affairs Team (CAT) in the area noted this request and reached out to Spirit of America for assistance. Within a couple of weeks, we were able to secure wood burning heaters to place inside their hardened structures at all 8 checkpoints. Click here for the project page.
These heaters are the better alternative and more cost effective solution to electric space heaters since there is no power at the sites as well as propane devices that would require constant fuel replenishment. The AUP are able to procure wood, and according to the District Chief of Police, some of it is provided by the Ministry of Defense. These items offer incentive and increase motivation for the police to remain committed to do their jobs more effectively especially since this is a fairly kinetic area. The Taliban still pose a threat in this district.
While this may seem like a small endeavor, it definitely has a big impact on something so many take for granted. Having basic supplies like this that allow the police to keep warm, stay contented, and even make chai tea (a cultural staple) as the heaters allow them to boil water. The CAT leader has affirmed that they work great and are perfectly suited to the AUP's needs. This project is significantly boosting the men's morale and further enabling them to become more self-sufficient without relying on U.S. Forces' resources. The Afghan partners are very grateful for the generosity of SoA donors.
Afghanistan Field Rep