IOM Completes Flood Protection Walls in Afghanistan’s Nangarhar, Kunar

Date Published: 
Wednesday, October 21, 2015

IOM inaugurated flood protection walls in Afghanistan’s Nangarhar and Kunar provinces this week. The walls will protect the homes and livelihoods of hundreds of families in flood-prone areas.

Nangarhar and Kunar are in eastern Afghanistan, a region particularly affected by seasonal flooding and other natural disasters. In 2015 alone, over 34,000 individuals were affected by natural disasters in the region.

The first flood wall, in Nangarhar’s Behsud district, was inaugurated on Sunday. It will provide protection for 470 families, including the family of local resident Abdul Rahman.

“Last year, the flood waters were so high that families from the village had to be evacuated by helicopter,” Abdul Rahman, a resident of Qala-e-Ishaq village in Behsud, told IOM. “Now we are safe and we thank God for this wall.”

A second flood wall was inaugurated in Asadabad district, Kunar province on Monday. Kunar is a mountainous province, and families tend to live along riverbanks where the land is flat. The newly constructed wall in Kuz Dandoona village will benefit 500 families in the area.

“Every year we have many families affected by rising water levels and flooding,” said Kunar Governor Haji Wahidullah Kalimzai. “This project is very crucial, and we appreciate it.”

The walls provide protection against flooding and economic support for the communities. Local laborers are employed during the construction of the walls and are trained in their upkeep and repair.

In 2013-14, IOM completed a total of 14 flood wall projects in 10 provinces in Afghanistan. A total of 2,503 meters of flood wall were constructed, protecting 40 villages and 8,050 houses, benefiting over 87,000 people.

“Community help lowers construction costs and gives them a sense of ownership. IOM will also leave behind some additional materials and tools should the walls ever need repairs or if the community wishes to extend a wall,” said Richard Danziger, IOM Chief of Mission in Afghanistan.

Afghanistan is one of the most hazard-prone countries in south Asia, facing earthquakes, floods, droughts, landslides, sandstorms and avalanches. The destruction of homes and shelters in natural disaster incidents displaces over 23,000 people per year on average.

Since 2008, IOM has been working to assist natural disaster-affected and displaced populations in Afghanistan, in partnership with communities and the Afghanistan National Disaster Management Authority (ANDMA.)

Support for IOM’s natural disaster response and risk reduction activities in Afghanistan is currently provided by USAID's Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance and the Government of Japan.

For further information, please contact Matthew Graydon at IOM Kabul, Email: mgraydon@iom.int, Tel. +93 749 100 546