Herat’s earthquake-affected families spend Eid holidays in tents amid continued hardship

Nearly seven months after devastating earthquakes in Herat Province, many families are still living in tents, having endured a harsh winter with no permanent shelter. Now, as the Eid holidays arrive, they face these special days without celebration or adequate shelter.

According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, the October tremors damaged 40,000 homes in Herat and left approximately 24,800 families still living in temporary shelters. These families urgently need improved living conditions as they continue to struggle with the lack of basic necessities.

Zarghuna, a victim of the earthquakes, shared her plight: “We have no Eid to celebrate. No home, no shelter, no food, no clothes for our children. It’s Eid, but we have nothing to celebrate.”

Many women, who are also the heads of their households, expressed a poignant resignation to their grim circumstances.

Shaista, a resident of Herat, lamented, “It’s the holiday season, and we have no home, no clothes, no means to sustain ourselves. We are forced to eat the dirt beneath us, enduring this misery.”

Marghlari, another local, echoed this sentiment: “We don’t have tents, a place to stay, or sweets for our children to enjoy during Eid. We don’t even have a pair of shoes to wear.”

Last week, the UN reiterated that 24,800 affected families are still living in tents and stressed the critical need for immediate action to address their living situations. The earthquakes last October caused significant destruction in Herat, with UN data reporting 1,500 deaths and 2,500 injuries as a result.

The United Nations has stated that 275,000 people urgently require humanitarian aid following the disaster that not only destroyed homes but also severely disrupted the lives of hundreds of thousands in Herat.