Devastating Floods Continue to Claim Lives in Northern Afghanistan

KABUL, AFGHANISTAN – Local Taliban authorities in the northern provinces of Faryab and Sar-e-Pol report that devastating floods on Wednesday night have claimed the lives of at least 14 people in these provinces.

Abdullah Muradi, the spokesman for the Taliban police in Faryab province, reported that an unprecedented flood in the Kohistan district claimed the lives of nine people and demolished many homes.

Meanwhile, in a newsletter last night, Habibullah, the spokesman for the Taliban governor in Sar-e-Pol province, said that one child and four women died due to flooding in the Kohistanat district of the province.

According to the Taliban newsletter, yesterday’s flooding in the Kohistanat district resulted in the complete destruction of at least 150 homes.

Flash floods from heavy seasonal rains in northern Afghanistan, particularly in the provinces of Faryab, Takhar, Badakhshan, Baghlan, and Ghor, have killed over 300 people in recent weeks, with dozens still missing.

The recent natural disaster has also claimed the lives of thousands of livestock and caused significant financial losses for the already impoverished population in the country.

Survivors find themselves without a home to return to and lacking any means of livelihood.

Two days ago, The World Food Programme (WFP) cautioned that the devastating floods in Afghanistan are expected to exacerbate in the coming months, posing a significant threat to food security.

According to the WFP, the recent floods in northern Afghanistan have impacted approximately 80,000 people, further worsening an already critical food insecurity situation in the country.

Baghlan province is among the hardest-hit by the recent flooding. According to the UN agency, approximately 60,000 people have been affected, with 182 casualties reported, predominantly women and children.

WFP says that the recent floods have destroyed most of the roads and bridges in northern Afghanistan, making it difficult for the agency to deliver food and other essential items for the affected population.

In a social media post dated May 23, the UN agency stated that it has provided food assistance to approximately 20,000 people affected by the floods and is diligently working to extend aid to more communities in need.

Yesterday, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported that it had dispatched 25 metric tonnes of emergency medical kits, tents, and solar lights to health facilities and communities affected by the recent floods in Ghor province.

“Despite access challenges, our teams delivered the urgent aid through the neighboring Herat province, thanks to the close collaboration with our on-ground partners,” said Dr. Jamshed Tanoli, Acting WHO Representative in Afghanistan.

In order to enhance its response to the crisis, WFP has requested an additional $14.5 million to support emergency food and nutrition assistance, as well as resilience-building projects.

The Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan resulted in a reduction in foreign humanitarian and development funding for the country, and its banking system remains largely isolated due to concerns related to terrorism and sanctions on Taliban leaders.

On the other hand, the strict measures imposed by the regime on women and girls have led many donor countries and organizations, including those providing lifesaving assistance and healthcare, to halt operations and leave the country.