Afghanistan teeters from deadly flash floods and landslides

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Several provinces in Afghanistan’s eastern, central, southern and western regions have been hit by heavy rainfall, leading to flash floods and landslides that have killed more than 180 people, displaced at least 8,000 others and displaced at least 3,000 homes. have damaged.

According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, Kunar, Laghman, Logar, Wardak, Nangarhar, Nuristan, Paktia and Parwan provinces were the worst affected.

UN OCHA said in its latest update that at least 118 people died as a result of flash floods this month alone. Several provinces of Afghanistan have experienced heavy rainfall and flooding in recent weeks. At least 20 people have been killed and 30 injured in Logar province.

Afghanistan has been reeling from natural disasters this year, including a drought and a devastating earthquake that killed more than 1,000 people in June. The country has been largely cut off from the international financial system since the Taliban took over a year ago.

Mullah Sharafuddin Muslim, the Taliban government’s deputy state minister for disaster management, told reporters that the floods have caused great loss of life and property.

Displaced Afghan families spend time together after severe flooding in Logar province’s Khushi district [Reuters]

At a press conference on Aug. 27, Acting Energy and Water Minister Mullah Abdul Latif Mansour said that “750 water reservoirs, 329 small dams and 441 major water channels have been damaged by recent flooding across the country.”

Acting Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock Minister Mullah Ataullah Omari said nearly 600,000 acres (24,281 hectares) of land are still under water and “unusable”. The Taliban officials said the country is currently experiencing a “humanitarian crisis” and called for more international aid.

Feroz Khan, a resident of Khoshi district in Logar province, told Al Jazeera that he was at home with his family four days ago when the flooding hit.

“We were just having lunch when the flood hit. We were helpless and didn’t know what to do. The walls of my house were crumbling and the water poured into my house and took our belongings,” he said.

“We forgot everything and just tried to run away and save our lives,” he said, adding that the Flood also wiped out livestock.

A day later they managed to find shelter at their family home. “Our mud house is unlivable and we don’t know when we will return, if at all,” he said.

People collect their stuff
People collect their belongings from their damaged houses after severe flooding in the Khushi district of Logar . province [File: Shafiullah Zwak/AP Photo]

Meanwhile, the UN chief of humanitarian aid on Monday urged donors to restore development funding in Afghanistan, which had been frozen when the Taliban took over last August, and warned that six million people were at risk of famine.

Martin Griffiths told the United Nations Security Council that Afghanistan was facing multiple crises — humanitarian, economic, climate, hunger and financial — and that donors should immediately provide $770 million to help Afghans survive the colder months ahead.

Conflict, poverty, climate shock and food insecurity “have long been a sad reality” in Afghanistan, but what makes the current situation “so critical” is the cessation of large-scale development aid.

“Poverty is increasing, the population is still growing and the de facto authorities have no budget to invest in their own future. It’s clear to us that some of the development support needs to be restarted,” said Griffiths.

More than half of Afghanistan’s 39 million population is in need of humanitarian aid and six million are at risk of famine. More than a million children are “estimated to suffer from the most severe, life-threatening form of malnutrition” and could die without proper treatment, he said.

The Taliban has not been formally recognized by any foreign government and is still subject to international sanctions, which the UN and aid agencies now say are hampering humanitarian operations in the country.



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