Snowfall, extreme cold claim 39 lives in Afghanistan

Nuristan province, Afghanistan. March 04, 2024.

The Taliban have reported that recent snowfall and extreme cold weather have resulted in the deaths of at least 39 people across Afghanistan.

The fatalities were reported by the Taliban-run natural disaster management authority in multiple provinces, including Parwan, Kandahar, Khost, Kapisa, Sar-e-Pul, Paktia, Faryab, Kabul, Zabul, Laghman, Paktika, Samangan, Badakhshan, Nangarhar, Ghor, Balkh, Daikundi, Uruzgan, Helmand, and Takhar.

Additionally, heavy snowfall has led to the closure of the Kunar-Nuristan highway, blocking traffic.

The roof of a house in the al-Badar district of Sar-e-Pul province collapsed due to snowfall, killing four people, including two women and two children. In another incident, a person died in the Deh Sarkh village of Kohistanat Sarpol district.

With more than 70% of Afghanistan’s population struggling with food insecurity, the severe winter conditions have now taken a toll on residents across 20 provinces.

Blocked roads and damaged homes have been reported in several other provinces as well.

Residents are calling on the Taliban and the international community for assistance. “Our request to the Taliban and the international community is that they provide fuel and food to the people affected by the cold,” stated Khayat Gul, a resident of Nuristan.

Kabul resident Inamullah expressed a desperate need for warmth. “It is winter. We don’t have wood. The weather in Kabul is very cold. We want help,” he said.

Mohammad Nabi Adel, the Taliban’s head of the Public Works directorate in Nuristan, acknowledged the challenges posed by snowfall on the Kunar-Nuristan highway. “Snow drifts have occurred in many parts… We are trying to open the roads,” he explained.

Amid poverty and limited access to food, Afghanistan’s citizens face a harsh winter. Many report they cannot afford food or fuel, attributing their poverty to the Taliban’s governance and the lack of employment opportunities.