IOM Helps Afghanistan Disaster Management Authority Counter Flood Risks
IOM is working with the Afghanistan National Disaster Management Authority (ANDMA) to construct flood protection systems in ten flash flood prone communities identified through a joint assessment. With funding from OFDA (USAID) IOM will in total construct nearly 2,000 meters of walls in ten locations in eight provinces, namely Kapisa, Parwan, Balkh, Sari Pul, Kunduz, Baghlan, Takhar and Laghman provinces.
The first two projects of this kind, taking place in Deh Babi and Sayad villages, Kapisa province, will provide protection for three villages, including 1300 families and 160 hectares of agricultural land. The structures will be assembled in the lower parts of the watersheds in order to ensure maximum protection of human lives, fertile land, houses and livestock. The projects will employ local workers and use locally sourced materials to enhance community involvement in emergency responses to severe flooding, which often hits in the spring when the winter snows start melting. Construction of the walls is firmly based on the findings of site assessments and the needs of communities.
At the opening ceremony of the first projects last weekend, Richard Danziger, IOM Chief of Mission in Afghanistan, said: “Each year on average some 250,000 Afghans are affected by natural disasters, many of them by flooding such as here in Kapisa. While ANDMA and IOM are regularly responding to incidents throughout the country and ensuring assistance is provided to those in need, our focus is increasingly turning toward prevention measures such as the flood walls we’re building here.”
The ceremony was attended by the Provincial Governor of Kapisa H.E. General Mehrabudin Safi, the chief of the provincial council, the provincial directors from the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock and ANDMA as well as elders from the participating communities. “I believe the implementation of this project in Kapisa province is a sign of our long lasting and sustainable partnership with IOM,” said General Safi.
Afghanistan is vulnerable to recurrent natural disasters which are exacerbated by ongoing climate change. The country is ranked twelfth on the seismic risk index, twenty-second on the drought risk index and twenty-fourth on the flood risk index.
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