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Note: This material has been taken from "Provincial Development Plan, Paktika Provincial Profile" prepared by the Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation and Development (MRRD), 2007.




Paktika province is situated in the South East of Afghanistan. It is surrounded by Paktiya, Khost, Ghazni and Zabul provinces and has an international border with Pakistan. The province covers an area of 19336 km2. Half of the province is mountainous or semi mountainous terrain (50%) while two-fifths of the area is made up of flat land (41%), as the following table shows:

Topography type

Flat Mountainous Semi Mountainous Semi Flat Not Reported TOTAL
% 41.7% 31.9% 18.7% 7.1% .1% .6%
Source: CSO/UNFPA Socio Economic and Demographic Profile


The province is divided into 19 Districts. The provincial capital is Sharana which has a population of about 54,416inhabitants.

Demography and Population

Paktika has a total population of 809,772. There are 115,075 households in the province, and households on average have 8 members. The following table shows the population by district.

Population by Districts
District Number of males Number of females Total population
Sharn- Paktika Centre 2776 26640 54416
Matakhan 10050 9708 19758
Yosof Khalil 16802 15846 32648
Yahia Kheil 15395 14766 30161
Omane 13040 12650 25690
Sar Roaze 18059 18177 36236
Zarghon Shahr 19296 18728 38024
Jani Kheil 18145 17106 35251
Gomal 32717 31558 64275
Sarobi 24026 24265 48291
Argon 44857 44861 89718
Zirook 22481 20709 43190
Nike 7632 7471 15103
Dile va Khoshamand 25899 24304 50203
Vaze Khah 26518 24300 50818
Tarvoo 8165 7167 15332
Varmami 15467 14668 30135
Barmal 44981 43047 88028
Gian 21153 21342 42495
Total 412459 397313 809772
Source: CSO/UNFPA Socio Economic and Demographic Profile


Around 99% of the population of Paktika lives in rural districts while 1% lives in urban areas. Around 51% of the population is male and 49% is female. Pashtu is spoken by more than 96% of the population. Five villages with a total population of about 15,000 speak Uzbeki and another 4 villages with a total population of about 5,000 people speak some other languages.

Paktika province also has a population of Kuchis or nomads whose numbers vary in different seasons. In winter 51,074 individuals stay in Paktika. Of the Kuchi that are in Paktika during winter, only 50 households are settled and the remaining 99% are short range migratory. However most of this group are only partially migratory. On average 26% of the community does not migrate. The summer areas for the short range migratory Kuchi are in Wor Mamay, Gomal, Turwa, Sharan and Waza Khowa districts of Paktika province. Both in their summer area and in their winter area, they remain stable in one location during that season. The Kuchi population in the summer is 6,117 individuals.



Infrastructure and Natural Resources

The provision of basic infrastructure such as water and sanitation, energy, transport and communications is one of the key elements necessary to provide the building blocks for private sector expansion, equitable economic growth, increased employment and accelerated agricultural productivity. In Paktika province, on average 28% of households use safe drinking water. More than four-fifths of households (85%) have direct access to their main source of drinking water within their community, however around one-sixth of households (15%) have to travel for up to an hour to access drinking water as the table below shows:

Time required accessing main source of drinking water

In community Less than 1 hour 1-3 hours 3-6 hours
% 85 15 0 0
Source: NRVA 2005


Almost no households have access to safe toilet facilities in Ghazni province (0%). The following table shows the kinds of toilet facilities used by households in the province:

Toilet facilities used by households

None/ bush open field/ Dearan / Sahrah (area in compound but not pit) Open pit Traditional covered latrine Improved latrine Flush latrine
% 1 46 7 45 0 0
Source: NRVA 2005


On average 6% of households in Paktika province have access to electricity with the majority of these relying on private electricity generating systems. Only one percent of the population (1%) has access to public electricity.

The transport infrastructure in Paktika is reasonably well developed, with a third (33%) of roads in the province able to take car traffic in all seasons, and two thirds (63%) able to take car traffic in some seasons. However, in about four percent of the province there are no roads at all, as shown in the following table:

Roads Type

District Cars all season Cars some seasons No roads Not Reported
Sharn- Paktika Centre 54.6% 43.3% 2.1% .0%
Matakhan 35.2% 59.3% 5.6% .0%
Yosof Khalil 39.5% 60.5% .0% .0%
Yahia Kheil 45.1% 54.9% .0% .0%
Omane 2.4% 88.1% 9.5% .0%
Sar Roaze 18.8% 75.0% 3.1% 3.1%
Zarghon Shahr 44.8% 55.2% .0% .0%
Jani Kheil 31.8% 56.5% 11.8% .0%
Gomal .9% 91.2% 7.9% .0%
Sarobi 50.9% 49.1% .0% .0%
Argon 75.5% 20.4% 2.0% 2.0%
Zirook 9.5% 90.5% .0% .0%
Nike 26.1% 60.9% 13.0% .0%
Dile va Khoshamand 26.0% 74.0% .0% .0%
Vaze Khah 50.8% 48.4% .0% .8%
Tarvoo 41.9% 51.6% 6.5% .0%
Varmami 1.3% 94.8% 3.9% .0%
Barmal 27.7% 69.6% 2.7% .0%
Gian 2.2% 87.0% 8.7% 2.2%
Total 33.1% 62.9% 3.7% .4%
Source: CSO (Analysis by AIRD)


Economic Governance and Private Sector Development

Creating the conditions in which a dynamic and competitive private sector can flourish, is key to promoting economic growth, employment creation and poverty reduction. Agriculture is a major source of revenue for two thirds (65%) of households in Paktika province. Sixty six percent of rural households own or manage agricultural land or garden plots in the province. However, around half of households (48%) in rural areas derive income from non-farm labour. Livestock accounts for some income for two-fifths (40%) of rural households as the following table shows:

Sources of income reported by households
Source of income Rural (%) Urban (%) Total (%)
Agriculture 66 - 65
Livestock 39 - 40
Opium 1 - 1
Trade and Services 5 - 5
Manufacture 1 - 1
Non-Farm Labour 48 - 48
Remittances 21 - 21
Other 0 - 0

Source: NRVA 2005


In 2005 there were 4 Agricultural cooperatives active in Paktika involving 118 members. In 2005 agricultural cooperatives controlled a total of 3637 Ha of land. As a result of this, each member held a share in the capital of the cooperative to the value of 59,000Afs.

Unlike agricultural products, there is not a very large production of industrial products in Paktika. Tobacco is produced in146 villages and sugar extracts are produced in 42 villages. Tobacco is mostly produced in Gomal, Urgoon, and Omna Districts. Sugar extracts are produced in Urgoon district. Small industries are very scarce in the province. They exist only in 28 villages and among them 13 villages produce honey. Handicrafts are more common than small industries in Paktika but they are still very scarce. Jewelry is produced in 26 villages and rugs are produced in 16 villges. Jewelry is mostly produced in Urgoon District.


Agriculture and Rural Development

Enhancing licit agricultural productivity, creating incentives for non-farm investment, developing rural infrastructure, and supporting access to skills development and financial services will allow individuals, households and communities to participate licitly and productively in the economy. As agriculture represents the major source of income for two thirds of households in the province, rural development will be a key element of progress in Paktika. The most important field crops grown in Paktika province include wheat, alfalfa, clover or other fodder, barley, and maize. The most common crops grown in garden plots include fruit and nut trees (82%), grapes (9%), cotton (3%) and melon and water melon (3%).

More than four-fifths of households with access to fertilizer use this on field crops (87%) and to a much lesser degree on garden plots (4%), although around one-tenth of households use fertilizer on both field and garden (9%). The main types of fertilizer used by households in the province are shown in the following table:

Main Types Of Fertilizer Used By Households
Human Animal Urea DAP
% % % Average Kg per Household % Average Kg per Household
40 84 96 79.7 Kg 95 50 Kg
Source: NRVA 2005


Almost all households in the province (96%) have access to irrigated land, and four percent of households have access to rainfed land as shown in the following table:

Households (%) access to irrigated and rainfed land

Rural Urban Average
Access to irrigated land 96 - 96
Access to rainfed land 4 - 4
Source: NRVA 2005


Eighty eight percent of rural households and 93% of Kuchi households in the province own livestock or poultry. The most commonly owned livestock are cattle, sheep, donkey and goats as the following table shows:

Households (%) owning poultry and livestock
Livestock Kuchi Rural Urban Average
Cattle 80 84 - 82
Oxen 16 31 - 24
Horses 7 1 - 4
Donkey 71 49 - 60
Camel 62 1 - 32
Goats 71 45 - 58
Sheep 89 74 - 82
Poultry 80 72 - 76
Source: NRVA 2005



Ensuring good quality education and equitable access to education and skills are some of the important ways to raise human capital, reduce poverty and facilitate economic growth. The overall literacy rate in Paktika province is extremely low at just 2%. While one in every twenty five men are literate (4%) the average literacy rate for women is zero (0%). In the population aged between 15 and 24 the situation for men is a little worse with only 3% literacy, whereas for women the figure remains the same (0%). The Kuchi population in the province has a slightly lower level of literacy than the general with just 2.1% of men and no women able to read and write.

On average 9% of children between 6 and 13 are enrolled in school, however, again the figure is around one in six boys (16%) and one in fifty girls (2%). Amongst the Kuchi population, one in twenty five boys (4%) and no girls attend school in Paktika during the winter months and 2% of boys and no girls attend school during the summer.

Overall there are 296 primary and secondary schools in the province catering for 78,849 students. Boys account for 87% of students and 89% of schools are boys’ schools. There are 2311 teachers working in schools in the Paktika province, one in fifty of whom are women (2%).

Primary and Secondary Education

Schools Students Teachers

boys girls boys girls male female
Primary 232 32 64121 10486 - -
Secondary 32 - 4181 61 - -
Total 264 32 68302 10547 2259 52
296 78,849 2311
Source: CSO Afghanistan Statistical Yearbook 2006


Primary schools are located in close vicinity for one-third of students and in about five kilometres away for around a quarter of students but around half of the students (46%) have to travel more than ten kilometres to reach their closest primary schools. Secondary schools are located within five kilometres for around one quarter of students (23%) but still more than half of students (55%) have to travel a long distance to reach their closest secondary schools. Access to high schools is very difficult with 14% of students having to travel up to five kilometres and around three quarters (72%) of students having to travel more than 10 kilometres to reach to their closest high school.



Ensuring the availability of basic health and hospital services, and developing human resources in the health sector is essential to reduce the incidence of disease, increase life expectancy and enable the whole population to participate in sustainable development. A basic infrastructure of health services exists in Paktika province. In 2005 there were 18 health centers and 3 hospitals with a total of 104 beds. There were also 250 doctors and 23 nurses employed by the Ministry of Health working in the province, which represented more than ten times increase in the number of doctors (up from 23) and five times decrease in the number of nurses (up down 111) since 2003. The province also has 193 pharmacies of which 192 are owned privately and 1 is run by the government.

Only 3.5% of the population has a health centre in their village, 2.7% has a dispensary and 7% has a pharmavy. Both men’s and women’s shura commonly said that their nearest health facility is basic health center or clinic without beds. The majority of people seeking medical attention have to travel more than ten kilometres to reach a health centre and more than half (55%) populations have to travel more than ten kilometers to reach their closest drugstores. Because of the nature of the terrain, travel over even short distances can be difficult and time consuming


Social Protection

Building the capacities, opportunities and security of extremely poor and vulnerable Afghans through a process of economic empowerment is essential in order to reduce poverty and increase self-reliance. The level of economic hardship in Paktika is very high. More than four-fifths (84%) of the households in the province report having problems satisfying their food needs at least 3 – 6 times a year, and a further one-tenth (10%) of households face this problem up to three times a year, as the following table shows:

Problems satisfying food need of the household during the last year

Never Rarely (1-3 times) Sometimes (3-6 times) Often (few times a month) Mostly (happens a lot)
Households (%) 3 10 84 2 0
Source: NRVA 2005


More than two-fifths of the population (42%) in the province is estimated to receive less than the minimum daily caloric intake necessary to maintain good health, and around three quarters of the population (73%) has low dietary diversity and poor or very poor food consumption as shown below:

Food consumption classification for all households

Low dietary diversity Better dietary diversity
Households (%) Very poor food consumption Poor food consumption Slightly better food consumption Better food consumption
Rural 23 50 23 4
Total 21 52 22 6
Source: NRVA 2005


In 2005, 41% of the population of Paktika province received allocations of food aid, which reached a total of 53,658 beneficiaries. In addition, of the 30% of households who reported taking out loans, almost all (96%) said that the main use of their largest loan was to buy food. However, in the same year more than four-fifths of households (85%) in the province reported feeling that their economic situation had got slightly better compared to a year ago and just under one-tenth (8%) felt that it had remained the same, as the following table shows:

Comparison of overall economic situation compared to one year ago

Much worse Worse Same Slightly better Much better
Households (%) 0 6 8 85 0
Source: NRVA 2005


In 2005 more than half of all households in the province (53%) reported having been negatively affected by some unexpected event in the last year, which was beyond their control. People were most at risk from agricultural shocks which affected almost all households in the province (96%) followed by, insecurity and drinking water problems as the following table shows:

Households experiencing shocks in the province (%)
Types of shocks Rural Urban Average
Drinking water 35 - 36
Agricultural 96 - 96
Natural disaster 9 - 10
Insecurity 40 - 40
Financial 0 - 0
Health or epidemics 2 - 2
Source: NRVA 2005


Of those households affected, one-fifth reported that they had not recovered at all from shocks experienced in the last 12 months (20%), and four-fifth said they had recovered only partially (80%).



For more detail information please take a look at "A Socio-Economic and Demographic Profile, Household Listing -2003 (Central Statistics Organization)"




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