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Floods Wash Away an Entire Family of 10 in Badakhshan

KABUL, AFGHANISTAN – Local Taliban authorities report that devastating floods in Faizabad, the capital of Badakhshan province in northeastern Afghanistan, have claimed the lives of at least 10 family members.

Zabihullah Amiri, head of the Taliban Directorate of Information and Culture in Badakhshan, said that the flooding occurred on Saturday night in Morchak village, resulting in the deaths of a couple and their children.

The Taliban authority also said that they have recovered the body of only one family member from the Kokcha River, with search efforts ongoing to locate the other victims.

Meanwhile, local sources in Doshi district of Baghlan province report that heavy rainfall and devastating floods on Saturday night have resulted in the deaths of at least two people. Baghlan province is among the hardest hit by recent flooding, with a report from the UN indicating over 180 casualties, mostly women and children.

In recent months, the northern provinces of Afghanistan have been struggling with incessant heavy rains, leading to deadly and devastating flooding. The natural disasters have resulted in the loss of lives and injuries for dozens of individuals, as well as claiming the lives of thousands of livestock and inflicting considerable financial losses for the already impoverished population.

Afghanistan remains among the world’s most vulnerable countries to climate change, despite having one of the lowest greenhouse gas emissions. According to the INFORM Risk Index 2023, Afghanistan is ranked fourth among nations most at risk of crisis. Similarly, on the Notre Dame Global Adaptation Index, it holds the eighth position, indicating its vulnerability and lack of preparedness to adapt to climate change.

According to the latest UN report, the flooding in northern Afghanistan has resulted in the loss of at least 347 lives, with 1,651 individuals sustaining injuries. Approximately 80,000 people in the region have been affected by the disaster. Additionally, around 7,800 homes have been either destroyed or damaged, leading to the displacement of 5,000 families.

Although both the UN and the Taliban say to have mobilized resources in the affected region, several families who have lost their possessions due to the floods criticized the delayed arrival of aid and are calling for immediate assistance from aid agencies.

The UN and the meteorological agency controlled by the Taliban have forecasted that more heavy rainfall and subsequent flooding are anticipated in certain northern provinces of Afghanistan in the coming months.

The recent natural disaster struck at a time when the country was already experiencing one of the worst humanitarian crises in the world. According to the UN, 4 million people, including 3.2 million children under the age of 5, are suffering from malnutrition in Afghanistan.

“Acute malnutrition is above emergency thresholds in 25 out of 34 provinces, and is expected to worsen, with almost half of children under 5 and a quarter of pregnant and breastfeeding women needing life-saving nutrition support in the next 12 months,” WFP reported earlier.

The UN food agency has requested an additional $14.5 million to provide “emergency food and nutrition assistance and resilience-building projects” for people affected by the floods.