Afghanistan: Herat desperate for housing aid after deadly earthquakes

Herat’s Zinda Jan district after earthquakes. FILE PHOTO

Several Herat residents, left homeless by the recent earthquake in the province, are urgently seeking assistance to secure shelter, as their homes have been destroyed.

In Herat’s Zinda Jan district, numerous villages were entirely obliterated. Local Taliban officials and various organizations have launched evacuations, primarily focusing on rescuing surviving children and women.

“We urgently require aid to rebuild our homes as winter approaches. We find ourselves homeless, unable even to brew a cup of tea,” said Sad Gul, one of the survivors, pleading for assistance.

Jalil Ahmad, another survivor, expressed the impossibility of reconstructing their homes in the short time before winter.

“It took us 30 years to build these houses. With only 50 days, or at most two months until winter, can we rebuild our homes?,” he said.

Taliban’s governor’s office in Herat said they have initiated surveys to identify suitable areas for new housing, emphasizing the crucial need for international support.

“Regional authorities in Herat Province have completed surveys in close collaboration with local residents and generous Afghan businessmen. We are prepared to establish suburban communities,” Nesar Ahmad Elyas, a Taliban spokesperson in Herat, said on Monday as quoted by CGTN.

Several businesses from Afghanistan have also pledged to assist in addressing the housing crisis.

“The provincial governor will designate a suitable location, and we will construct shelters. We have allocated $2.5 million for housing, which will provide accommodation for six to seven hundred households and be completed within 30 to 40 days,” Homayun Azizi, a representative of Azizi Group, stated.

While temporary shelters and relief aid are crucial, both affected families and aid agencies have emphasized that these measures are insufficient to address the impending winter crisis.