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Thousands of people affected due to flash floods in Afghanistan

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Recent flash floods have resulted in serious concerns among the people and farmers in the country. It is said that recent flash floods have hit western and some other parts of the country, with indications that 104 people have been killed and hundreds of residential houses destroyed since the beginning of March 2019.
According to UNOCHA, 119,600 people have been affected so far due to recent rainfalls and flash floods in various parts of Afghanistan.
Afghanistan’s National Disaster Management Authority, on the other hand, expressed concerns over the continuation of the current situation.
According to the authority, heavy rains and flash floods, in 19 provinces of Afghanistan, have killed 104 people and injured 237 others since early March. 144 school buildings and 37 mosques were destroyed in these provinces as well.
The authority says further aids are needed to address current problems caused by recent rainfalls and flash floods.
People who have been recently affected by flash floods and rainfalls are asking the government for urgent and timely humanitarian assistance, foodstuffs and first aids.
On the other hand, officials for ministry of agriculture, livestock and irrigation say limited agricultural fields might have been affected due to recent floods, but there are 2.4 million hectares water-fed lands in the country and generally the recent floods will put no considerable impacts on agriculture.
“It is expected that agricultural products will increase in the country during the current year comparing to previous years as continued rainfalls and snowfalls in some parts of the country have addressed the problems of shortage of water in the country,” a spokesperson to ministry of agriculture, irrigation and livestock Akbar Rustami said.
Pointing to efforts made recently by the government in areas affected recently by flash floods, Rustami said ministry of agriculture in close coordination of ministries of water and energy, rural development and other relevant institutions has launched a big program of construction protective walls in various parts of the country to protect agricultural fields from possible flash floods.
He added that the government was committed to reconstruction of agricultural structures and lands that have been destroyed due to recent flash floods in a number of provinces.
According to Afghanistan Red Crescent Society (ARCS) and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), Ten million people in Afghanistan – more than a quarter of its population – face severe acute food insecurity and need urgent help after floods and drought.
Three years of drought have contributed to massive crop failure, economic hardship, hunger and loss of life, and forced 266,000 people from their homes. In March 2019, extreme weather deepened extreme hardship, when above normal rain and snow fell on soil with limited vegetation or ability to soak up the water, bringing flash floods to nine provinces, killing 63 people and displacing at least 281,000 to makeshift camps with inadequate services.
Climate change is increasing the hardship for people in Afghanistan. Temperatures are rising, leading to changes in snowmelt, and rainfall is getting more erratic, with an increased risk of floods and droughts. Repeated disasters have eroded people’s capacity to cope.
Shukria Kohistani

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The Kabul Times.