IOM Responds to Floods in Afghanistan’s Baghlan Province

Date Published: 
Friday, June 13, 2014

A massive flash flood has left dozens of people dead and destroyed hundreds of homes in the northeast Afghan province of Baghlan. IOM is among the first responders to the disaster, and has dispatched urgently needed relief supplies that will soon reach affected families.

Heavy rainfall in recent weeks has caused widespread flooding and landslides throughout Afghanistan. On 6 June, a flash flood swept through Guzargah e Nur district in Baghlan province, killing at least 80 people and washing away homes and acres of farmland. The main roads to the district were also damaged, making access to the area extremely difficult.

Speaking at an emergency coordination meeting, the Guzargah e Nur district governor said that the floods are the worst the area has experienced in over 50 years. Affected families are in urgent need of relief supplies, shelter, food, drinking water and basic health services.

Working in close coordination with the Afghan National Disaster Management Agency (ANDMA), the Provincial Governor’s Office and UN/NGO partners, an IOM assessment team travelled to the affected villages by helicopter on 9 and 10 June. The team met with communities to determine the full extent of the flood damage and the needs of the families who lost their homes and livelihoods.

The initial assessment found that at least 420 homes had been damaged/destroyed. This number is expected to rise as assessment teams reach other flood-affected villages. Many families who lost their homes are living with the local community in surrounding villages.

A resident of Yahoor village in Guzargah e Nur told IOM staff : “The flood is the biggest tragedy in my 65 years of life. More than 50 people from my village are still missing. We need help to recover.”

IOM has prepositioned stocks of relief supplies and emergency shelter kits in northeast Afghanistan to cover the needs of 400 families. They include basic household items, blankets, cooking sets, plastic sheeting and other goods that will help ease the burden of displacement on the affected families.  Additional supplies will be dispatched from IOM’s network of warehouses throughout the country.

Work to reopen the roads into Guzargah e Nur is ongoing, with heavy machinery being deployed to the area. IOM and partners have readied a truck convoy of relief supplies that will depart as soon as road conditions allow.

IOM’s humanitarian assistance activities in Afghanistan are funded by the US Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA).

For more information please contact Matt Graydon at IOM Kabul, Email: mgraydon@iom.int, Tel: +93 794 100 546.