Samangan Province

Samangan is located north to the Hindu Kush mountain region in the northwest of Afghanistan. The province has a covering area of 11,262 km² and it is divided into 5 districts and has 674 villages. The city of Samangan is the administrative capital of the province.

The estimated population of the province is 0.454 million which is multi-ethnic and mostly a tribal society. 93% of the population is living in rural areas while 7% is living in metropolitan cities.  The Tajiks and Hazaras ethnic group dominates the region encompassing more than 70% of total provincial population, apart from them there is a small number of Tajiks, Uzbeks, Pahtuns and Turkmen who are also inhabitants of the province. Persian as language dominates the region as it is being spoken by 72.5% of population, 22.1% residents speak Uzbeki.

Samangan is a mountainous province with 59% of its area is mountainous terrain, 21% of the area is semi-mountainous while the flat land and semi-flat land comprises of 12% & 4.8% of the area respectively. The province shares its border with neighbouring provinces; in the east is Baghlan and on the south laid the Bamyan. Sar-e-Pul is located on southwest while northwest touches Bulkh.

The present governor of the province is Khairullah Anush who replaced Enayatullah Enayat in 2010. Afghan National Police (ANP) administers all the law enforcement activates in the province and it is backed by Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF). A provincial police chief has been deployed who led the Afghan National Police and represents the Ministry of Interior in Kabul.

The primary source of income for the inhabitants of Samangan is agriculture and small scale mining industry. The province produces various kinds of grains, fruits and nuts on fertile river planes. It also produces wheat, barley, potato and cotton. The economic condition of the province is poor as 12% of the households don’t even get the desired quantity of food to sustain. In October 2010, the first dish-making factory was established that is being run by women. The women had to go through training for several months before starting the job. Thousands of women are employed in last few years who are working on various projects from tailoring to carpet knitting. The province also export marble, the brown marble of the province is quite popular among the locals as well as in international market.

The healthcare sector of the province has shown a slight improvement; in the province the health services are being provided by the Ministry of Health. They established 6 healthcare centres where 21 doctors and 33 nurses have been deployed for patient’s facilitation. 3 hospitals with a capacity of 60 beds in total were constructed. 24 pharmacies are running in the province out of them two are being run by the government while the remaining 22 are privately owned.

The education sector has also shown a bit of improvement where the literacy rate has been increased by 10% with respect to previous years. But still, there is a lot that need to be done as the existing literacy rate of the province is 27%. The literacy rate among the men is 28% while in women it falls to 12%.  There are 59 primary and secondary schools in the province which cater approximately 60,000 students yearly.

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