Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Friday, October 19th, 2018

Help Them to Survive

Indications from previous years clearly suggest that government ministries and their provincial departments, either by mistake or deliberately, disregard seasonal changes and its consequent troubles across the country. Unfortunately, so far, there have been enough losses to alarm the entire national stakeholders to plan and provide necessary facilities and aids to remote rural areas and hard mountainous villages long before a catastrophe hits the nation.

When clock is ticking to announce winter time, the poor and underprivileged civilians in the remote districts think of their gusty and cold hard days when temperature drops, roads get closed and the locals suffer from shortage of basic facilities. Many Afghans in rural areas risk starvation and the poorest subsist on bread and tea through the long, harsh winter.

Over the past one decade, international relief organizations have poured aids to the war-ravaged country but have failed to assuage plight of Afghans living in remote and hardly-accessed rural areas. It is already cold in some parts of the country.

The mountainous central Hazarajat and parts of the north-eastern provinces are of the coldest climate in Afghanistan. There are initial reports saying that closure of roads and shortage of food and fuel have toughened the situation in mainly mountainous Hazarajat and some other parts of the country.

During last years, many cases were reported in which families lost their loved ones only because of the road closure and failure of government and donating agencies to provide them with the basic needs on time. Government's disaster management agency usually gives pledges but fails to accomplish the job when it is most required by citizens.

Since the very first days after the Taliban collapse, relief agencies have been playing significant role in preventing natural disasters including those caused by road closures, extreme cold and shortage of food and fuel.

Sorry to say, they have mostly remained as aid providers. Afghan national line agencies required building its capacity on planning, surveying and mapping the most vulnerable regions across Afghanistan. They needed to establish local emergency services center to closely monitor the situation, provide advice on process shortfalls and contextual needs and provide urgent help for poor, helpless locals.

Speaking before MPs in parliament, officials from ministries of Agriculture and Public works and some related directorates, repeated their empty slogans on being prepared to provide needed helps for local communities at times of natural disasters and during harsh winter season.

But most Afghan citizens do not believe them because of their very poor performance in the course of last years.

The government needs to take immediate practical steps before citizens are stuck in blockage of snow. Disregarding or downplaying this vital question will jeopardize life of thousands of citizens living in inaccessible areas. So has happened previously. It is seriously doubted if the government has hitherto embarked on practical measures to help the locals survive the coming hard winter.