Herat earthquake survivors struggle for adequate aid as winter inches closer

A camp near the Siah Aab village where survivors of Herat earthquakes live.

Residents of Siyah Aab village in the Zinda Jan district of Herat, heavily impacted by the October 7 earthquakes, express dissatisfaction with the insufficient aid received, compelling them to endure harsh living conditions in tents near their ravaged village.

As winter takes hold in Zinda Jan district, residents find themselves spending both nights and days beneath makeshift tents. The October 7 earthquake wrought extensive damage, destroying thousands of homes and displacing tens of thousands, many of whom now reside in tents.

Among those grappling with dire circumstances is 56-year-old Mah Gul, who lost 12 family members in Siyah Aab village. She voices concerns over the lack of assistance, particularly in providing winter clothes for her grandchildren.

“With no wood left for us and a tragic loss of 12 family members, our children attend school with inadequate clothing. We implore you to aid us,” Mah Gul said.

A view of Siyah Aab village in Zinda Jan district of Herat after October 7 earthquakes.

In the desolate desert outside their village, where residents have set up tents, the lack of food, health services, and basic necessities compounds their difficulties as winter approaches.

Shamsuddin, a resident of Zindajan district, laments, “We lack a water pump, health services, and essential supplies. Living in an empty tent is our reality.”

The residents of Siyah Aab village in Zinda Jan district appeal for permanent shelter. Mohammad Amin, another resident, emphasizes their desire for suitable housing for every family, stating, “Living in a tent is challenging; we cannot endure this any longer.”

Siyah Aab village, located in the north of Zinda Jan district, is among the areas reduced to ruins by the earthquake. The aftermath claimed the lives of 157 people, with approximately 400 others sustaining injuries.