Afghanistan: "The storm took everything from us"

Abdul Hai while carrying his children caught in the floods

Rahmuddin from CARE Afghanistan was part of an assessment team to villages in the Nijrab district of Kapisa province affected by recent flooding.

According to findings from CARE, World Food Programme and Afghanistan National Disaster Management Authority (ANDMA), 27 houses were completely destroyed in the district, while 13 houses were partially destroyed. Animals died and one hectare of land and hundreds of trees were destroyed. In this blog, Rahmuddin writes about people he met who were most affected by the current heavy snow falls and floods.

Roya is a 55-year-old mother of four daughters and one son. She raised chickens and earned some money through doing housework and gardening work for other villagers. During the snow storm her house collapsed and her animals died. She said:

I took my children to my sister's house which was in a better condition and safer than our house. In a few minutes I lost everything I have worked for over the past years. I cannot afford to buy food for my children anymore. My sister helps me with shelter and food as much as possible. But how long will I be able to rely on her? She is poor, too.

As we were driving through the district there were still heavy snow fall and floods. We saw an old man, who was stuck in the floods. He was carrying two children on his back. When he saw us he was shouting for help. My team and I helped him. He told us:

I tried to prevent my house from collapsing, strengthening it with wooden pillars. I took my wife and children to my brother in law's house, so they could be safe. I wanted to ask him to help me. But then we suddenly got stuck in the flood.

The man is called Abdul Hai, he is 60 years old and lives in the Kharij Dara village. His children were shaking from the cold weather. They were wearing very thin clothes. This is all they have. They were very worried, because they feared that their home will be totally destroyed. We accompanied Abdul Hai, his wife and his three children to see whether his house had withstood the storm.

Unfortunately, when we arrived at the family's home, it had collapsed. Their belongings and the little food they had were buried under the ruins. He said:

Everything we had was destroyed by the snow fall. The storm took everything from us.

Fortunately, at least their animals could escape before the house collapsed and are still alive. His livestock is all that is left for Abul Hai's family.

Written by Rahmuddin from CARE Afghanistan.

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News and stories are provided by CARE staff working to support our emergency responses and long-term development programmes.