Herat flood victims face homelessness, infrastructure damage

Recent heavy rains in Herat, Afghanistan, have resulted in severe flooding, destroying homes and displacing thousands. Local reports highlight significant devastation in districts such as Pashtun Zarghun, Shindand, Obe, Zinda Jan, Injil, and Guzara over the past week.

Zahra, residing in a remote area of Herat, experienced the loss of both her home to an earthquake and her temporary shelter to the floods. “We are left with nothing but a dilapidated tent, struggling for food and a safe place to sleep,” she described, emphasizing the dire conditions for her family.

Saifullah from the Obe district recounted the flood’s extensive damage. “It was one of the most dangerous floods we’ve experienced. Our entire village was affected—the flood swept away our homes and fields,” he said.

Mohammad Anwar from the Injil district noted that the daytime occurrence of the flood spared lives but devastated local livelihoods. “It washed away everything we worked for this season,” Anwar stated, echoing the significant loss felt across the region.

The aftermath has severely impacted infrastructure, with many roads becoming impassable. Sabriya, from Pashtun Zarghun, reported, “The flood waters have isolated us. Even getting to the city for basic supplies or medical help costs a fortune, leaving many stranded and vulnerable.”

In Ghor province, recent floods have displaced approximately a thousand families, who are now living in open-air conditions with little protection.

The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) described the situation as unprecedented. “These floods have not only claimed lives but have also destroyed ten thousand hectares of agricultural land, exacerbating food security issues in the region,” an OCHA spokesperson reported.

The Taliban’s Ministry of Disaster Management also provided a grim tally of the human cost, stating that the floods have killed more than 99 people and injured over 63 across the country since early this year.

As Herat grapples with recovery, the full scope of the floods’ long-term impact on the region’s agricultural economy and infrastructure remains uncertain. Local and international aid efforts are underway to address the immediate needs of those affected and to initiate rebuilding efforts in the wake of this natural disaster.