In recent weeks continuous rains coupled with the melting of the huge accumulation of snow across mountain ranges have triggered flooding which has swept down through valleys where large populations are settled. By mid May, the three districts of Saywad, Suzma Qala and Kohistanat in Sar-e-Pol province were inundated. The water flows affected other districts along flood plains in Khwaja Du Koh district in Jawzjan province resulting in mass destruction of settlements and population displacement in the Dasht-i-Leili desert.
So far, approximately 30,000 people from 80 villages are thought to be affected by the floods and over 5,000 homes have been damaged or destroyed. Red Crescent disaster response units who were immediately deployed to affected areas to help with search and rescue operations, have been able to provide over 7,000 people with supplies of food and water. Tarpaulins have also been distributed to families who were evacuated to public buildings. Some have been forced to live in open spaces.
“We have also deployed our mobile health teams to provide basic health care to the affected population. Many water sources are polluted and people are living in overcrowded conditions where you have an increased risk from waterborne diseases such as malaria. The government hospital is now supported by our team from the ARCS Clinic,” says Mr Mohammed Naim Dindar, the ARCS Secretary General.
“Mud and debris are everywhere”, explains the IFRC’s acting head of delegation in Afghanistan, Paula Fitzgerald, “This is making access into affected areas a huge challenge. We’re also concerned that the situation will worsen in these areas and spread to new locations as the snow-melt continues and the summer rains commence”.
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image:Continuous rains coupled with the melting of the huge accumulation of snow across mountain ranges have triggered flooding which has swept down through valleys and innundated villages in the Sar-e-Pol province northern Afghanistan. Ali Hakimi/IFRC