Two districts of Bamiyan headed for famine, officials warn
Bamiyan, October 11, 2007 (PAN): The Bamiyan Disaster Management Committee said food crops in Punjab and Waras were extensively damaged by recent floods and asked for over 22,000 tonnes of food items for the vulnerable people.
Muhammad Ishaq Poya, member of the provincial council and the Disaster Management Committee told Pajhwok Afghan News on Tuesday more than 50 percent of food crops were damage by a persistent cold wave following floods earlier in the year. According to an assessment by the committee, UNAMA and Agha Khan Development Network (AKDN), he claimed, 12,000 tonnes of wheat were needed for the dwellers of Punjab and 10000 tonnes for Waras residents.
Waras administrative chief Muhammad Azim Farid warned: "If the requested help is not delivered before the winter, residents of the two districts run the risk of being hit by a severe famine." Farid added residents of the two districts were heavily dependent on agriculture, but half of their crops had been harmed.
General Muhammad Nader Fahimi, deputy governor of the province, argued roads would be blocked by winter snows if assistance was not sent in time. More than 60 avalanches, floods and landslides in Bamiyan took a toll on farmlands. However, the Afghanistan National Disaster Management Authority (ANDMA) in Kabul assured it had taken steps to dispatch 20,000 tonnes of foodstuff to the affected districts, clear roads and provide health services to 18 vulnerable provinces.
ANDMA member Ghulam Haider identified Bamiyan, Maidan Wardak, Ghazni, Logar, Paktia, Ghor, Daikundi, Parwan, Panjsher, Sar-i-Pul, Badakhshan, Faryab, Baghlan, Nuristan, Kunar, Takhar and Khost as vulnerable provinces.
Adrian Edwards, UNAMA spokesman, claimed 50 per cent of the food items had been rushed to the provinces. Forty percent of the food would be distributed to women and children and the rest to work-for-food programme workers.