Situation Update: Excessive Rains and Flood Continue Devastation in Northern Afghanistan

Situation Update: Excessive Rains and Flood Continue Devastation in Northern Afghanistan

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Background:

On Saturday, May 10, 2014, heavy rains triggered new flooding in Balkh, Jawzjan, Sari Pul, and Samangan provinces. Balkh Province was the most affected during the recent rains. Since Thursday, April 24, 2014, flash floods in Jawzjan, Faryab, Sari Pul, and Badghis have claimed lives, destroyed homes, agricultural lands, and infrastructure. Reports state that over the past 48 hours an additional 17 districts in four provinces have been flooded.

Cumulatively, 16 provinces are now underwater and more than 120,000 people have been affected by the floods in these provinces. Rescue efforts by local authorities including the Afghan army and police forces continue to assist trapped communities in the flooded areas.

Approximately, 50 meters of the main Kabul-Mazar northern highway has been completely destroyed by flooding in the Tangi area. The highway connects Kabul to all Northern Provinces west of the damaged areas of Mazar, Jawzjan, Sari Pul, Faryab, and western parts of Balkh.

At the same time, access due to insecurity remains a challenge in a number of districts in Faryab, Jawzjan, and Sari Pul.

Heavy rainfall is also expected to continue for the next seven to ten days. Affected families face survival challenges in gaining access to adequate shelter, food, clean water, and medical services. Immediate and timely assistance remains crucial to prevent the loss of lives and reduce the impact of the widespread floods in Afghanistan.

CWS-P/A Response:

CWS-P/A is currently coordinating with the Afghanistan National Disaster Management Authority (ANDMA), UNOCHA, ACT members in Afghanistan, and local authorities. After conducting assessments in the field, CWS-P/A made a decision to provide emergency, early recovery and rehabilitation support to affected families in Badakhshan and Jawzjan provinces. For Jawzjan Province, UMCOR has confirmed its support on the provision of basic shelter inputs as well as raising awareness on health, hygiene and sanitation through orientations, workshops and the provision of hygiene kits to affected families. Distribution is expected to commence soon.

In Badakhshan Province, DCA and UMCOR have both pledged support for the provision of the same intervention indicated above for Jawzjan. These have been the identified urgent needs not yet covered by other agencies. Similarly, distributions are expected to take place soon.

Another urgent need for both provinces is mid- to long-term food support. With farmlands destroyed and no immediate alternative sources of income, it would be difficult for the affected population to sustain their needs. As such, CWS-P/A is currently coordinating with other donors for mid- to long-term support focusing on food security for the affected families.

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