Eight disaster prevention projects started in Badakhshan

Last week, the district governors of the remote districts of Shahri Buzurg, Shukai, Kofab and Khowhan of Badakhshan province celebrated the start of construction for eight disaster prevention projects
The projects include protection walls, irrigation canals and forestation measures. They will protect the villagers and their land, orchards and houses from floods and other natural disasters. They will protect the inhabitants as well as their land, orchards and houses from floods and other natural disasters. The eight projects were chosen and managed by the Community Development Councils (CDCs). Funding of around AFN 16 million comes from Germany, through the Badakhshan Natural Disaster Prevention (BNDP) programme.

District governor, Ghafran Zaki Khowahan, mentioned that, “One of the major challenges our communities are facing is flooding. The villages lack forests and proper protection walls to protect their lands and they do not have irrigation canals to water their farmland properly. Every year, residents in our villages lose valuable farming income due to floods. Until a few centuries ago, evergreen forests covered a wide area of our province. Nowadays, illegal logging and overgrazing are the main factors in the decline and disappearance of forests.” It is estimated that if the deforestation continues at its present rate, all forests of Afghanistan will disappear in three decades.

The head of the Kofab District Development Assembly (DDA), Mr. Mabodullah, added, “Another problem of the people here is that during floods several villages are cut off from the market, health centres and schools because the roads are blocked. Students cannot reach their schools anymore.” The official ceremony was joined by more than 200 representatives from district line departments and CDCs, community leaders, elders and religious leaders.

Addressing the challenges of major natural disasters in Badakhshan province including flooding, avalanches and earthquakes, Germany and Afghanistan agreed to run the Badakhshan Natural Disaster Prevention (BNDP) programme in four districts. The districts were chosen by their vulnerability based on a newly developed risk map which identifies the most exposed places in Badakhshan. Based on these findings, suitable prevention measures are designed including small infrastructure but also capacity development projects. BNDP is financed by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH.