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40 Badakhshan villages prone to mountain slides

40 Badakhshan villages prone to mountain slides

Oct 30, 2017 - 19:48

FAIZABAD (Pajhwok): Local officials say more than 5,000 families in 40 villages of northeastern Badakhshan province are prone to mountain slides and call for their shifting to safe areas.

Deputy Badakhshan governor, Dr. Gul Mohammad Baidar, told Pajhwok Afghan News that the provincial Afghanistan National Disaster Management Authority (ANDMA) office surveyed vulnerable districts such as Darwazha, Argo, Raghistan, Daryaim and Faizabad, the provincial capital in two years.

“The geologists found 40 villages in these districts as vulnerable and people there change their location because the mountains and hills around these villages contain water fountains and connected to the Hindu Kush mountains, the center of earthquakes,” he said.

He added jungles in the areas had declined during the conflict, which could have reduced the risk.

Baidar said 30 percent of vulnerable residents were distributed land plots in seven townships prepared by ANDMA and aid organizations.

The rest of other vulnerable families would be also provided with land plots in safe areas in future as currently ANDMA has limited financial resources, he added.

“We have a very detailed map of avalanches and landslides provided by GIZ, we also developed a plan in 2016 and it needs to be reviewed and shared with the ANDMA’s main office,” he said.

He added 20 to 30 people were killed in spring and winter seasons due to avalanches, landslides and flooding in Badakhshan every year but efforts were underway to prevent human losses in future.

“We grew jungles in vulnerable areas and constructed retaining walls to reduce fatalities in most of the districts,” he said.

A provincial council member, Mahbob Rahman Talaat, said more than 100 families from Yawan district affected by flash floods in recent years had been shifted to Faizabad city.

“We have repeatedly shared problems of these families with the officials concerned but they told us that they faced shortage of budget, we can provide them enough land plots if we receive enough budget for them,” he said.

Abdul Bari, one of the displaced persons from Kham Yalgak area of Yawan district, talking on behalf of others, said the lack of housing facility was one of their major problems.

“We are living in the sixth police district of Faizabad. Except food aid, we have received nothing in the past two and half a year, we cannot pay rent, and our problems double in winter,” he concluded.