(formerly IRIN News) Journalism from the heart of crises

Aid yet to reach all flood-affected provinces

Azeem Khan, 48, doesn't remember the exact time, but it was early Sunday morning when his seven-year-old daughter woke him up shouting "Water! Water!" Rain started around 8p.m. in Afghanistan's eastern Kunar province and was so heavy the eight-member Khan family had not got to sleep until midnight.

Khan's daughter raised the alarm because she was sleeping on the floor and water was pouring in.

"While I was evacuating my children to a safe place the floodwaters washed away all our possessions," Khan, who now lives in the open in the Sarkano district of Kunar, told IRIN.

"We have not received any kind of assistance," added the distressed man.

Khan's family is among thousands waiting for help after flash floods and avalanches left them homeless in at least 13 provinces of Afghanistan, officials in Afghanistan's Department for Disaster Preparedness (DDP) say. DDP estimates of more than 80 deaths are impossible to confirm.

The number of casualties increased on Sunday night when an avalanche killed seven people in the central province of Bamiyan, DDP reported, adding that fresh floods and avalanches were reported in the provinces of Badakhshan, Nangarhar and Ghazni.

On Sunday, the government of Afghanistan announced it lacks the capacity to respond to the multiple natural disasters in the country, and requested help from the international community as well as the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF). A spokesman for ISAF in Kabul told IRIN on Monday, "when the Government of Afghanistan requests assistance from ISAF in natural disaster scenarios, then ISAF will do all it can to help."

The ISAF airlifted to safety hundreds of people trapped by floodwaters in Laghman province.

Photo: Noorullah Stanikzai/IRIN
Flood damage in Parwan province

Officials in Kabul say more than 300km of roads have been damaged in the landlocked country impeding the delivery of humanitarian aid to the provinces.

"Relief operations to four to five thousand families are underway," said Aleem Siddique, a UN spokesman in Kabul.

Although relief is reaching some flood victims, the central province of Daykundi is among those still in need of relief.

"So far we have been unable to deliver assistance to Daykundi, but the UN has assured us that relief will reach there in the coming days," said Abdul Matin Adrak, the director of DDP.

The acting UN humanitarian coordinator in Afghanistan, Rick Corsino, said aerial assessments of Daykundi capital Nili and surrounding districts will be completed on Tuesday. The joint UN-government assessments will be used to plan distribution of 200 to 300 metric tonnes of food items currently stocked in Daykundi by the UN World Food Programme.


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