The International Organization for Migration (IOM) inaugurated flood protection walls in two provinces of Afghanistan this month. The walls will protect the homes and livelihoods of hundreds of families in flood-prone areas in the eastern provinces of Nangarhar and Kunar.
The region of eastern Afghanistan is particularly affected by seasonal flooding and other natural disasters. In 2015 alone, over 34,000 individuals were affected by natural disasters there.
The flood walls are part of an ongoing project by IOM. In 2013-14, IOM completed a total of 14 flood wall projects in 10 provinces in Afghanistan. A total of 2,503 meters of flood wall were constructed, protecting 40 villages and 8,050 houses, benefiting over 87,000 people.
The first flood wall, in Nangarhar’s Behsud district, was inaugurated on Sunday. It will provide protection for 470 families, including the family of local resident Abdul Rahman.
Abdul Rahman, a resident of Qala-e-Ishaq village in Behsud, told IOM
“Last year, the flood waters were so high that families from the village had to be evacuated by helicopter”
He continued, “Now we are safe and we thank God for this wall.”
A second flood wall was inaugurated in Asadabad district, Kunar province on Monday. Kunar is a mountainous province, and families tend to live along riverbanks where the land is flat. The newly constructed wall in Kuz Dandoona village will benefit 500 families in the area.
“Every year we have many families affected by rising water levels and flooding,” said Kunar Governor Haji Wahidullah Kalimzai. “This project is very crucial, and we appreciate it.”
The walls provide protection against flooding and economic support for the communities. Local laborers are employed during the construction of the walls and are trained in their upkeep and repair.
“Community help lowers construction costs and gives them a sense of ownership. IOM will also leave behind some additional materials and tools should the walls ever need repairs or if the community wishes to extend a wall,” said Richard Danziger, IOM Chief of Mission in Afghanistan.