Baghlan residents criticize Taliban’s response to devastating floods

Victims of the recent deadly floods in Baghlan have criticized the Taliban for neglecting their plight and failing to adequately respond to their needs. Residents reported that the Taliban’s rescue efforts fell short, leaving villagers to undertake rescue operations for those trapped by the floods.

The criticism comes as dozens of families mourn the loss of loved ones and struggle with a lack of shelter and limited access to basic necessities. Additionally, many are still searching for survivors or those trapped in the debris.

Residents expressed their frustration with the insufficient aid relative to the extensive damage caused by the floods. “Burka district has suffered significant financial and human losses. Baghlan Markazi is also in turmoil. There are many dead bodies, and the damage is severe in Guzargah Noori and Pol-e Khomri. It’s a very dangerous situation,” said Jamshid, a local resident.

One resident, who asked to remain unnamed, described their dire situation: “We were surrounded by water, with 26 family members inside the house. Another nearby house was completely submerged.”

The exact number of casualties buried under rubble and mud remains unknown. Although the Taliban claim to be assisting flood victims, social media footage shows residents taking rescue efforts into their own hands.

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid has assured that efforts are being made to meet the needs of the affected population. Meanwhile, the Red Cross has initiated a campaign to aid flood victims across various provinces, including Baghlan.

Civil activists, including Karima Azam, stress the importance of delivering aid transparently and without ethnic or religious bias. “Aid should be provided transparently and realistically to those in need, without any ethnic or religious biases,” Azam emphasized.

The World Food Programme has started distributing food aid to those affected in Baghlan, and the Red Cross is distributing hygiene kits to some affected residents. However, locals have noted that the aid provided is insufficient given the extent of the floods’ devastation.

Many in the affected areas have lost everything and are now primarily focused on finding shelter, food, and healthcare services.