Flash floods leave over 20 dead

Flash floods killed over 20 people and destroyed dozens of houses in different parts of Afghanistan on 26-27 July, according to the Afghanistan National Disasters Management Authority (ANDMA).



The northeastern Kapisa and the eastern Laghman provinces were worst affected, but deaths and damage were also reported in nearby Nangarhar and Kunar provinces.



Twenty people have been killed in Kohband District and thousands of houses destroyed, said Abdul Aleem Ayar, a spokesman of the Kapisa governor. Dozens of injured had been taken to hospital.



Six people have been killed in Laghman Province, Abdul Matin Edrak, director of ANDMA, told IRIN, adding that floods had also caused extensive damage to farmland. He said assessments were under way in flood-affected areas and relief efforts would be coordinated with UN agencies and NGOs.



Floods have claimed the lives of over 300 people in 19 of the country’s 34 provinces since March, ANDMA said.



Thousands of people have been displaced in the north and west, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) reported.









''We lost our house, livestock and everything else in the floods in Dawlatabad.''

In collaboration with the Afghan Red Crescent Society (ARCS), ICRC said emergency assistance, including food and non-food items, was distributed in May-June to over 44,000 people displaced by natural disasters and conflict. There are some 300,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) in the country.



Balkh floods



Up to 100 families allegedly displaced by floods in different parts of Balkh Province, northern Afghanistan, have set up a makeshift camp about 50km to the west of the provincial capital, Mazar-e-Sharrif.



“We lost our house, livestock and everything else in the floods in Dawlatabad [District],” said Abdul Sattar, a father of five.



He and several other men in the informal camp said they had not received assistance from the government and aid agencies.



“The weather is very hot under these tents and we even don’t have drinking water,” said an elderly woman, Hanifa, adding that children were often ill but there were no health services and medicines.



Earthquake



Similar concerns were echoed by people affected by a 5.3 Richter scale earthquake and subsequent floods in the northern province of Samangan in April-May.



Mohammad Hussain Ishaqzai, director of the ARCS office in Samangan, said 17 people were killed and 14 injured by the quake and floods, and thousands had lost their homes.



The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs reported in June that 3,000 quake-affected families received food and non-food assistance from aid agencies.



Lack of access to some IDPs in insecure areas has been a major challenge for UN agencies, but the ICRC said its “confidential dialogue” with armed opposition groups has enabled it to deliver aid to needy people in highly insecure areas.



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