Dry Spell Assessment in Ghor Province - Afghanistan, April 2018


Executive Summary

Following a dry spell over the winter period of 2017-2018, Afghanaid detected early warning signs of livelihoods under stress due to drought conditions in its operating area in Ghor province. To determine the potential impact of the drought on the population, Afghanaid carried out an assessment in Ghor from 19th to 24th April 2018, which was led by the organisation’s M&E Manager and an M&E Coordinator. The purpose of this assessment was to analyse the extent of the drought situation in Ghor province, to identify the immediate needs and most effective assistance strategies, and to identify strategies to build resilience for recovery. This assessment used key informative interviews, focus group discussions and direct observation.

Precipitation decreased by 52% this year from its standard 300mm in Ghor, which affected Harirod river basin, and there is a decrease of 70% in river water level which has severely affected agriculture and livestock in the province. According to ANDMA, 80% of the population in 6 districts (Feroz Koh, Taiwara, Saghar, Dulaina, Tolak and Charsada) and 70% of the population in an additional 4 districts (Pasaband, Lal wa Sarjangal, Dawlatyar and Shahrak) have been affected, and their situation is expected to worsen as the year goes on. Women, children and the elderly will be most severely affected.

The assessment found a reduction of cultivated fields, for both rain-fed and irrigated land crops; some are completely damaged and others partially by dry conditions. The wheat seedlings and pasturelands are also partially or completely desiccated. Animals have lost weight leading market prices to dropped by 50% and there is 50-60% reduction in milk production.
ANDMA has recorded 640 families moving to Feroz Koh (centre of province) since last year, who have registered as IDPs for emergency response.

The total population of Ghor province based on population registration records is 713,660, and the findings of this and other assessments indicate that at least half of the total population is in significant need of food assistance in next 6 months. The situation is communicated and reported to the central government and in response received only 7,182 metric tons of wheat from Kabul while the need for the mentioned population is 33,123 MT wheat. Consultations with different government departments indicate that there is no specific plan to meet emergency needs and build resilience for recovery by the Government of Afghanistan. The expectation of communities and Government departments are from International NGOs and donor communities to respond.

ANDMA with the support of UNICEF provided 250 IDP households with emergency food items and Afghanaid provided 86 IDP household with non-food items. CRS6 has conducted an assessment of the drought in Bamyan, Daykundi, Ghor and Herat covering 7 districts but no activity has begun yet. ACF is working to develop coping mechanism in food security and malnutrition providing messages to the farmers on how to overcome the situation.