Saturday July 13, 2024

Flash floods kill 22 in Afghanistan

By Our Correspondent
May 06, 2022

KABUL/LAHORE: Flash floods and storms killed at least 22 people after ravaging several provinces of Afghanistan over the past five days, an official said Wednesday.

Scores of Afghans die every year in torrential downpours, particularly in impoverished rural areas where poorly built homes are at risk of collapse. Deputy Minister for Disaster Management Sharafuddin Muslim said the latest deluges wracked the provinces of Faryab and Parwan, as well as various other regions. In a video statement, Muslim said “18 to 22 people have been killed across 10 provinces” and that more than 100 houses were also destroyed. Two people remain missing while 30 others have been injured.

Relief teams have been dispatched to the affected areas with tents and food and the authorities are distributing cash to families of those killed, he said. Since the Taliban stormed back to power in August last year, foreign-funded aid and disaster relief schemes have dramatically fallen off.

Western nations are wary that any assistance could be commandeered by Kabul’s new rulers, consolidating their grip on government. Rescue efforts have therefore fallen to the Taliban themselves, who have been waging an insurgency for the past twenty years and have little experience in emergency management. This year’s flooding also came as the country observed Eidul-Fitr holidays after the fasting month of Ramazan ended on Saturday in Afghanistan.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif expressed his sorrow and grief over the loss of precious human lives and property due to floods in 10 provinces of Afghanistan and reiterated solidarity with the Afghan interim government and people. He said he had ordered for provision of relief to the flood-affected people and was sending emergency aid to the victims. He expressed his condolences to the families of the victims and said the international community should come forward to provide emergency assistance to the Afghan people to deal with the devastating effects of the floods in Afghanistan.

He said floods were likely to exacerbate the already ongoing humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan. Shehbaz said that in the current situation, emergency measures were needed, the international community, especially the United Nations, should launch a programme of assistance to Afghanistan to provide food, medical aid and shelter to the displaced.He said that he was with the Afghan people in this difficult time and he would extend all possible assistance.