New flash flooding in Afghanistan takes lives and decimates communities
Flash flooding today destroyed homes and causes further devasation in western Afghanistan, one week after tens of thousands were affected as floodwaters swept away homes and lives. The number of people impacted by today's flooding is not yet known, but early World Vision reports indicate it is worse than last week's.
“The magnitude of the damage caused by today’s floods is huge. The flood washed away houses, agriculture lands and schools on its way. It was rainy but not severe. No one thought floods would happen. The flood surprised and shocked everyone. When people saw the flow of the water, they fled to the hills and high buildings with their children. The water flow became wider and wider. Houses next to the riverbank immersed under the water. People lost their lives. The speed of water was so high that it washed away vehicles.” said Sultan Ahamd Zaeem, World Vision engineer in Badghis.
World Vision’s Badghis Zone Manager Faraidoon Barekzay explains how the flood began: “The flood started at Sabzak Dam and continued to Laman district (30 km away from the capital of Badghis) destroying everything in its path. There were no flood protections and trees to reduce the speed.”
World Vision has a number of programmes in Badghis including water networks and agricultural livelihoods projects, which may have been damaged or destroyed. The international aid agency will be assessing the impact of these latest floods the coming days.
Afghanistan is currently in the midst of a severe drought, exacerbated by ongoing conflict, which has left 6.3 million people in need of humanitarian assistance and some 1.6 million children acutely malnourished. Before the floods, Badghis was only one step away from meeting the threshold for famine. Accessing vulnerable families in Badghis to provide food assistance is now even more challenging with roads washed away and key infrastructure damaged. World Vision says help is needed in the form of water treatment and hygiene kits, food packages, blankets, essential medicines and basic survival items.