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Afghanistan: Floods - May 2021

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Heavy rain has been affecting several provinces of Afghanistan, particularly Herat, since 2 May, causing flash floods and floods, and resulting in casualties and damage. The most affected provinces are Herat, Ghor, Maidan Wardak, Baghlan, Samangan, Khost, Bamyan, Daikundi and Badakhshan. According to media reports, at least 25 people have died, hundreds have been displaced and more than 150 houses were destroyed in Herat province. For the next 24 hours moderate to heavy rain is forecast across most parts of northern and central Afghanistan. Heavy rain with thunderstorms and flash floods warnings have been issued across several provinces of central, northern, eastern and western Afghanistan on 5 May. (ECHO, 5 May 2021)

A total of 16 provinces in five regions across the country were affected by consecutive flash floods on 3 May 2021 following heavy rains since 2 May 2021. According to initial reports obtained from Afghan National Disaster Management Authority (ANDMA) and other sources, the death toll has reached to 61 persons while 33 persons sustained injuries. The flood also impacted roads, sub-roads, irrigation system and 100 acres of agriculture land in 16 provinces... Samangan and Herat provinces were the worst affected by devastating floods. Provincial Disaster Management Committees (PDMC) and OCT meetings convened to coordinate assessment and response. Per the initial reports, approx. 4,400 families were affected currently being assessed by joint teams. (IFRC, 16 May 2021)

A total of 7,896 people affected by flood were identified by interagency assessment teams to receive humanitarian assistance in Obe district, Hirat province and Jawand district, Badghis province. Aid agencies will provide food, cash, relief items, emergency shelter and hygiene kits to people in need. Water, sanitation and hygiene partners will support the restoration of damaged water sources in affected areas. (OCHA, 2 Jun 2021)

Heavy rainfall in north-eastern Afghanistan (especially Nuristan Province) over the last 48 hours, has caused flash floods. Media report at least 60 fatalities, a number of people still missing, 200 destroyed houses, and damage to roads across the Miardish Village (Kamdesh District, eastern Nuristan Province, bordering with Pakistan). Over the next 24 hours, moderate rainfall is forecast over north-eastern Afghanistan, including Nuristan Province. (ECHO, 30 Jul 2021)

In late night of 28 July 2021, massive flash floods, triggered by heavy rain, occurred in Mirdesh village in Kamdesh district in Nuristan province – eastern part of Afghanistan. As per the initial field reports, around 150 lives are lost with 113 dead bodies found as of 31 July 2021 – others were still missing. Around 300 residential houses are impacted with 200 houses fully damaged. One public bridge and four small bridges are also damaged. The water also swept away cattle, destroyed agricultural lands and also demolished a large part of a road in Kamdesh district. (IFRC, 5 Aug 2021)

In response to severe flooding that took place on 29 July in Maherdish Village in Kamdesh District, Nuristan Province, UN assistance was dispatched and distributed to 1,631 people. The aid included relief items, shelter supplies, tarpaulins, a two month supply of emergency food, and nutritional supplies for women and children. (OCHA, 8 Aug 2021)

On 30 August, heavy rains and floods were reported in Helgal valley, Ghazi Abad area in Sheltan, Ghazi Abad, Nari and Shigal districts in Kunar Province which inflicted damage to roads, bridges, livestock as well as farmlands. Also, 105 people reportedly were affected by flash floods in Behsud District in Jalalabad city in Nangarhar province. Interagency assessment teams were deployed to affected area to assess humanitarian needs. (OCHA, 5 Sep 2021)

Since the massive flash floods in Nuristan Province that occurred in the late night of 28 July, the Afghan Red Crescent Society (ARCS) had conducted a damage and needs assessment in Kamdesh district – a remote area that was then not under government control. Based on updated figures tabulated by 1 August, in addition to the loss of more than 260 lives, nearly 30 business premises, 3 mosques, and 7 bridges were destroyed, as well as water and electricity infrastructure and over 360 hectares of agricultural land and 3,200 fruit trees. The floods risks of Nuristan remain - recently, flash flood warnings for Nuristan were also issued by the Civil Aviation Authority Meteorological Department. Coupled with the remoteness of the village and devastation from the flash floods of 28 July, the areas continue to require immediate humanitarian assistance for disaster relief and early recovery. (IFRC, 5 Nov 2021)

Even though it has been more than five months since the devastating floods in early May, the situation in Afghanistan has complicated the early recovery processes of the affected communities, and environmental threats remain due to reduced coping mechanisms. With winter already having started, humanitarian assistance is assessed to be still needed for floods-affected households to ensure sustenance through winter and to enhance their resilience for future flash floods. (IFRC, 29 Nov 2021)