Relief Should be Enhanced for Flood-Hit Provinces
A number of Northern provinces have been worst hit by flash floods with about 150 people dead and many others missing. According to local officials, around 6,000 families have been affected as result of the recent flooding in the Northern provinces. With each day passing, the dimension of the crises emerges even bigger. The death tolls are increasing and thousands of people are desperate for receiving help from government and local relief teams. With the impacts of the disaster unfolding, the government is increasing under criticisms for its slow response to the flooding. The government is accused that it has been slow and the floods have taken high tolls from the residents of the flood-hit provinces. There have growing calls from ordinary citizens and civil society on the government to respond more efficiently and assist the people in the flood-hit areas.
In a bid to manage the natural disaster, President Karzai’s second Vice President Karim Khalili visited the flood hit provinces, promising quicker relief assistance to the affected provinces. Karim Khalili, who visited a number of the Northern provinces including Faryab, Sar-e-Pul and Jowzjan, said the government was fully prepared to assist those affected. The government has mobilized armed forces and relief agencies for helping the affected. However, the related agencies for dealing with natural disasters have been unable to effectively deal with the incidents such as flooding and earthquakes that occurs each year particularly in winter seasons.
Afghanistan is very susceptible to natural disasters such as floods, earthquake, road blockades and avalanches in the winters. This is while the country has no sufficient capability to manage such catastrophes. Each year, dozens of people in affected areas lose their homes and livelihoods. This happens while the deaths and suffering caused by such disasters are manageable. The government could do better in management of the recent flooding in Northern provinces and mitigate the consequences.
There are many reasons that contribute to the failures in management of natural disasters such as the recent floods in the North. Weak infrastructures particularly lack of access and equipment is still the most important impediment in reaching out to the farthest areas. Due to being engaged with insecurity and corruption, Afghanistan has been unable to develop the sectors related to disaster managements. The rampant corruption has the government failed to provide safety and services to the people efficiently.
The disaster-management agencies should increase efforts for dealing with the flooding in the North. The government needs to take bold measures to rescue people still in danger and provide shelter, foods and medical services. The recent flooding in the North is not over. The government must redouble its efforts to assist the flood-stricken people. If the relief agencies continue its slow respond to the crisis in Northern provinces, the death tolls will most certainly rise even higher and the affected people will continue to suffer. An option for the government is to enhance collective efforts for reaching out to the flood-hit provinces. The government should mobilize volunteers with the help of the civil society to provide food and shelter to the people in need.