Afghanistan: ISAF, local government battle Pech River floods

News and Press Release
Originally published
Release # 2007-486

JALALABAD AIR FIELD, Afghanistan (June 28) - ISAF soldiers responded to flooding of the Pech River in eastern Afghanistan June 26, that killed four people, destroyed a home, several bridges and washed away a road earning the praise of a local official.

"ISAF forces came to offer their help and we appreciated their quick efforts, as well as the central government's, to provide support," said Daree Pech Sub-Governor Haji Zalmai Khan.

The flooding also made the only road to the village impassable. A retaining wall collapsed by flooding in a nearby village was responsible for the four deaths.

ISAF forces provided sandbags and dirt to help support a temporary retaining wall. They also brought other supplies and aid including a tent for the family whose home was demolished.

By early afternoon, construction vehicles had already begun fending the waters off by dumping huge amounts of sand and rocks to allow aid to come through.

Locals also came to the government to volunteer their help as a line of men stood by to fill sandbags and move rocks.

According to an ISAF official, the local government already had necessary emergency services well underway and were developing plans to repair the damage.

"When I got there to offer our support, it was obvious that the government had things under control," said Maj. Stephen Sutton, Task Force Rock civil affairs officer.

"It's a sign that everyone turned to the government," Sutton said. "The people now realize they can all go to the same place, and that they depend on the government's leadership. That is a milestone. It demonstrates the government has become their center. Which is a relatively new concept here."

The prompt reaction by the authorities was an example of effective local leadership, Sutton said.

Contact Information

ISAF Public Information Office
Press Office +93 (0)79 511