By: The Kabul Times
KABUL: President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani held a video conference on Wednesday night with Parwan tribal elders and provincial leaders to discuss ways to assist destitute families and victims of Wednesday’s flash floods that claimed the lives of at least 85 people.
President Ghani said the ministry of finance had allocated relief funds for the province and he told the elders and provincial leaders to “make sure that the help needed for the affected families arrives”.
On Thursday morning, Dr. Abdullah Abdullah, the Head of Afghanistan’s High Council for National Reconciliation, visited Parwan where he spoke to local residents and met with officials.
“Today I visited the flood-affected areas of Charikar city in Parwan Province. Several provinces have been hit by flash floods, & many have lost their lives. I offered my condolences to the victims, their families & spoke to officials on providing the needed aid to the people,” Abdullah posted on Twitter.
This comes after the State Ministry for Disaster Management said earlier that 13 provinces had been affected by the heavy rain but that no casualties were reported in six of these provinces.
Other provinces badly hit overnight Thursday included Kapisa, Panjshir, Maidan Wardak, Nuristan and Kabul provinces.
Officials said the total death toll over the past two days was at least 110, while hundreds of homes had been destroyed.
Videos and photos on social media showed the widespread devastation caused by the raging waters across these provinces and of local communities and Afghan National Defense Force members frantically digging through rubble looking for survivors and bodies.
Houses were destroyed, roads were washed away, crops and orchards were underwater and livestock killed.
On Wednesday, President Ghani ordered immediate aid to be sent to victims in Parwan and other provinces and mobilized forces to help.
Disaster management ministry spokesman Ahmad Tameem Azimi said flooding had blocked highways to eastern and northern provinces, but that teams were working to reopen the roads to traffic. He added that ground and air support was sent to help those trapped by the flooding.
On Wednesday night, President Ghani said during his video conference that funds will be allocated for the reconstruction of the Charikar Canal, through Parwan’s provincial capital, and that all relevant departments under the supervision of First Vice President Amrullah Saleh will provide emergency assistance to the victims.
He also emphasized: “Make sure that the help needed for the affected families arrives” and said he had ordered the relevant institutions to assess the damage and to find ways to mitigate flood water damage in the future.
International organizations have also stepped in to help in Parwan including HALO Afghanistan, the world’s largest humanitarian landmine clearance charity.
The organization has deployed ambulances to assist in recovery efforts, is helping to remove mud and debris from streets and delivering food to affected families around Parwan’s provincial capital.
A group of Afghan students – Afghan Care – have meanwhile launched a Go Fund Me page to help victims. They state the fundraising initiative is to “help facilitate some assistance to the victims of this terrible flood. We try to assist the victims by delivering shelter, food, basic medical services, and money.”
OCHA Afghanistan meanwhile tweeted on Thursday that “the UN and partners mobilized to support provincial authorities to respond to needs, and stand ready to assist in all efforts to alleviate human suffering.”