阿瑪莎彌（Amad Samim），今年15歲，當他跟朋友在街坊巷道踢了一場活力充沛的足球賽之後，他從頭到腳都佈滿了灰塵。他家即位於馬札里謝里夫的卡特沙西盧丁法拉比（Kart-e-Zahiruddin Farabi）。
巴爾赫省省長阿塔穆罕默德諾爾（Atta Mohammad Noor）表示，「回收政府土地對我們而言仍然是一項大挑戰，土地惡霸還是在這些公有土地上非法建造建築物，然而我們看到這種情況但卻無能為力。」
阿塔補充說道，在1990年代，強人杜斯塔姆（Abdul Rashid Dostum）統治大部分的北部地區，上千公頃的土地被強佔，並且賣給了軍閥。而今，經過幾十年之後，幾乎是不可能回收這些土地，或是找到真正的地主。
Residents of Mazar-e-Sharif, Afghanistan's second -largest city, are suffering from a polluted environment caused by urban expansion on land seized by warlords.
Amad Samim, 15, was covered in dust from head to toe after his energetic football game with friends on the street of his neighborhood, Kart-e-Zahiruddin Farabi, in Mazar-e-Sharif.
"My neighbors yell at me when I play football, saying that I will smash their windows," he said, breathing heavily. "My family is also angry with me. They're afraid I'll get hit by a car."
One of his friends had his leg broken a few days ago when he was struck by a vehicle. "But where should we play football?" said Amad. "There is no playground or park. What are we supposed to do?"
A decades-old land grab has left Mazar-e-Sharif and much of the rest of Balkh province with little or no open areas or green spaces. While the government tries to cope with the nearly impossible task of reclaiming the land, residents are suffering the ill effects of living in a polluted environment devoid of trees and other vegetation.
Mazar-e-Sharif has been losing its open spaces for decades, ever since the 1990s free-for-all that is known as the "era of the warlords." In those times, a man with power and a militia could rule his district like his own personal fiefdom, seizing territory, terrorizing the population, even, in several instances, issuing his own currency.
These warlords also dispensed patronage, often in the form of land that technically belonged to the central government. Land issues are among the thorniest confronting the central government today, and account for a large percentage of cases making their way through the country's slowly reforming judiciary.
"The seizure of government lands is still a challenge for us," said Atta Mohammad Noor, governor of Balkh province. "The land mafia is still building illegally on these properties. We see the situation but cannot do anything."
During the 1990s, when strongman Abdul Rashid Dostum ruled much of the north, thousands of acres of land were seized and sold to warlords, added the governor. Now, decades later, it is almost impossible to reclaim them, or to sort out the rightful owners.
"General Dostum ordered the distribution of 30,000 jeribs (approximately 15,000 acres) of government land to one of his deputy commanders," said Atta. "The deputy commander later received official documents showing that he owned the land."