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Afghanistan: Floods - Mar 2020

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Heavy rain has been affecting north and west Afghanistan (particularly Takhar, Parwan, and Herat Provinces) since 21 March, triggering flash floods that have resulted in casualties and damage. Media report, as of 2 April, at least 11 fatalities, 15 injured people, around 288 houses destroyed and 400 more damaged (including 30 mosques), and several power outages across the aforementioned Provinces. (ECHO, 2 Apr 2020)

Since 28 March, flash floods following heavy rain affected 18 provinces in north-central and west regions of Afghanistan. Preliminary information suggests that floods have killed 11 people, while 15 people are injured. Most affected provinces are Farah, Badghis, Faryab, Baghlan, Takhar and Parwan. Needs assessments are coordinated by the local authorities and humanitarian agencies. The flash floods displaced families. At least 288 houses were completely destroyed, and 400 houses were partially damaged. Furthermore 500 hectares of agricultural crops were washed away. (ECHO, 3 Apr 2020)

OCHA’s natural disaster tracking dashboard shows that more than 15,300 people have been affected by floods (13,900), landslides (616) and avalanches (819) since the start of the year. During flood-related displacement, host communities tend to extend their limited resources to families in need. Most displaced families are normally hosted by relatives or in neighbouring communities while they wait for the rain to subside prior to starting repair of their shelters. This coping mechanism creates favourable conditions for higher transmission of COVID-19 and in some cases may give rise to protection concerns for displaced people and their hosts. This is particularly concerning for the country’s west and south bordering Iran and Pakistan where flooding is already taking place. IOM and other ES-NFI partners have so far conducted 127 joint assessments in areas affected by floods. Assessment findings showed that more than 1,400 homes have been either damaged or destroyed. ES-NFI partners have further mobilised rapid shelter support and distribution of household items to 9,366 people affected by floods. (OCHA, 6 Apr 2020)

With the onset of the rainy season, severe flooding was reported across many provinces in Afghanistan over the past week. Provincial authorities and humanitarian partners coordinated joint needs assessments to reach affected areas and respond to humanitarian needs. To date, 480 families (approximately 3,360 people) were provided with emergency shelter and household items. (OCHA, 6 Apr 2020)

Torrential rain affected several parts of the country over the last month, causing flash floods, triggering landslides and leading to casualties. The most affected Provinces were Badakhshan, Badghis, Baghlan, Farah, Faryab, Parwan, Takhar and Ghor. According to media reports, at least 56 people have died, 31 have been injured. Approximately 600 houses have been destroyed and over 3,000 partially damaged. (ECHO, 21 Apr 2020)

Heavy rains in Kunar Province resulted in casualties and house damages. On 17 April, six members of the same family reportedly died in Khas Kunar district when the roof of a house collapsed due to heavy rains in eastern Kunar Province. Provincial authorities assisted affected families with food and non-food items. Also, flash flooding was reported in Dangam, Bar Kunar, Shigal districts. Initial reports showed that around 300 people were impacted. (OCHA, 22 Apr 2020)

Since the beginning of the year, 17,000 people have been affected by flash floods and heavy rainfalls across Afghanistan, and almost 1,800 houses were damaged or destroyed, in addition to agricultural lands. Recently, over 800 families (approximately 4,200 people) were affected by flash floods in Badghis province and their needs are currently being assessed. (OCHA, 27 Apr 2020)

As of 5 of May, flash floods triggered by heavy rain have affected Baghlan province (northern Afghanistan), resulting in fatalities and damage to buildings. According to media reports, the worst hit area is Tala Wa Barfak District (south-western Baghlan), where 4 people died and houses, farmlands and infrastructure were damaged. Search and rescue operations are ongoing. (ECHO, 5 May 2020)

As of 17 of May, Interagency assessment teams verified 1,407 people affected by landslides in Faryab province and 1,379 people displaced by conflict in Balkh, Faryab, Sar-e-Pul and Jawzjan provinces. In addition, 4,760 people affected by flash floods received humanitarian assistance in Faryab and Samangan provinces. (OCHA, 17 May 2020)

As of 28 May, flash floods affected at least 329 people in Badakhshan and Baghlan provinces, and destroyed 200 houses, agriculture lands and affected nearly 1,400 people in Sar-e-Pul province. (OCHA, 24 May 2020)

On 23 June, heavy rains and localized flash floods impacted 945 people (135 families) in Kunar, Laghman and Nangarhar resulting in casualties and material damages. The Afghanistan National Disaster Management Authority (ANDMA) reported that three children died in Nari district and Khas Kunar district, Kunar province. Several houses were reportedly damaged and agricultural land and crops were extensively damaged in Nari and Nurgal districts in Kunar province. Two other children were reportedly killed by lightning. Humanitarian partners are already providing assistance to people affected by flash floods. On 24 June 2020, a thunderstorm struck killing two children in Batikot and Shinwar districts in Nangarhar province. ANDMA in Nangarhar provided immediate assistance (relief items and food assistance) to affected families. ANDMA has announced that it will provide a further 50,000 AFs to affected families (OCHA, 28 Jun 2020).

Flash floods triggered by heavy rain were reported in Nangarhar Province (eastern Afghanistan) on 31 July. According to media, the worst-hit area is Kuz Kunar District (northern Nangarhar), where at least 16 people died and dozens of houses were damaged. Additional floods have been reported also in Parwan Province (central-eastern Afghanistan) where homes and roads were damaged or destroyed. (ECHO, 3 Aug 2020).

As per the initial reports from the Afghanistan National Disaster Management Authority (ANDMA); 495 families were affected by flash flood in Charikar provincial center on 2 August. Due to heavy rainfall, 26 families were reportedly affected in Marwawara, Shigal, Asadabad and Nurgal districts on 2 August. 48 families were affected by flood in Alishang, Alingar and Mihtarlam districts on 2 August. Eight families were affected and six persons were killed by flash flood in Zadran, Sayed Karam and Gardez districts on 08 August. (IOM, 11 Aug 2020).