Afghanistan

Afghanistan: River continues to rise in Kapisa

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KABUL, 3 June (IRIN) - There are renewed fears of flooding in a village in the central Afghan province of Kapisa, putting at least 120 families at risk, an aid worker told IRIN in the capital, Kabul, on Monday.
"Snow from the surrounding mountains is continuing to melt and flow into the river, and will do so throughout the month of June," the United Nations Assistance Mission to Afghanistan (UNAMA) area coordinator for the central region, Jens Tranum-Kristensen, said. Mud houses in the area were also posing a threat as they could collapse and cause extensive damage and force more people out of the village.

"The water is rising slowly, so there is time for people to leave the area, but they will have to deal with the aftereffects of the damage caused," he asserted. Serving to exacerbate the problem was the fact that the four-year drought had dried up the land to the degree that it could no longer absorb water easily, he added.

Some 19 families in the village of Sayad, which borders on Parvan Province, had already been relocated last week when the flooding first started in Kapisa. They were sheltered on higher and dryer ground, and other families at risk were being alerted to the situation, Tranum-Kristensen said. "The river has diverted itself by up to 100 metres to the southeast of its principal course," he added.

Several international NGOs, including ACTED-France, the International Federation of the Red Cross and the Afghan Red Crescent, had visited and assessed the area over the weekend, and were responding to the needs of those affected. "They are distributing non-food items, such as tents and cooking stoves," Tranum-Kristensen explained.

While the exact extent of damage was still unknown, it was estimated that up to 80 ha of land could have been flooded. "These people have also lost their crops, which is going to put them in a very bad situation for the rest of the year," he stressed.

[ENDS]

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