Afghans have “lost everything” in devastating floods

Villagers from western Afghanistan were trying Sunday to evacuate the muddy waters that invaded their homes after the worst floods of the decade, some less fortunate lamented having “lost everything”.

The torrential rains that have fallen for two days since Friday morning have ravaged five provinces in the north and west of the country, killing at least 35 people.

In addition to destroying thousands of homes, these flash floods devastated camps for displaced families who had to flee last summer due to drought.

In particular, they had found refuge by tens of thousands in the Herat region.

In this province of western Afghanistan at least ten districts and the provincial capital of the same name were heavily impacted by these rains resulting in flash floods.

Photo taken on March 29, 2019 showing villagers walking on a mud-covered street after floods in Herat Province, Afghanistan (AFP - HOSHANG HASHIMI)

Photo taken on March 29, 2019 showing villagers walking on a mud-covered street after floods in Herat Province, Afghanistan (AFP – HOSHANG HASHIMI)

Cars buried in the mud, collapsed walls, earthen houses strewn with debris, trees on the ground … it was in this spectacle of desolation that many villagers were busy in a mud heap trying to save what could still 'be.

Bibi Gul stands in front of his ruined house in Herat. “We lost everything and we have nothing left to survive,” she says. “Our cows, our sheep and even our pigeons” were washed away, says another inhabitant, Fazel Ahmad.

According to Hashmat Bahaduri, spokesman for the National Disaster Management Authority in Afghanistan, more than 3,000 houses have been partially or completely destroyed in the five provinces affected by these flash floods.

The heavy snowfall over large areas of Afghanistan this winter caused serious flooding as spring approached after several years of severe drought.

By early March, at least 20 people had already died as a result of floods that washed away many homes in Kandahar province in southern Afghanistan.

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