Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Sunday, May 24th, 2020

Deaths, Which Could be Avoided!

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Deaths, Which  Could be Avoided!

Afghanistan is one of the countries that have been facing the destructions of wars and conflicts for some decades now. With the horrors of wars, there are many other issues as well that have been annoying the Afghan people to a large extent. They have their roots in the destruction of the socio-political and socio-economic circumstances as a result of wars.

Though there have been developments in the last decade or so, major deficiencies still exist and they require the attention of both the Afghan government officials and the Western allies. Most of these issues are related to the lives of the common Afghan people and they keep on making their lives miserable. In fact, for most of the common people of Afghanistan, things have not changed very much. Millions of dollars that Afghan authorities have received as assistance for the development works have never reached to the teeming millions. They are instead, utilized by the ruling elite to embellish their luxurious lives and quench their greed for superfluity.

Common Afghan people have not only been victimized by the wars and conflicts but natural disasters have also made their lives fragile. Whether it is flood or famine or even earthquake, the severest of the shocks shake the existence of the poor and destitute. They are the most effected, in two different ways. First, they do not possess a strong and reliable shelter and other facilities that can safeguard them against the natural disasters, which make them easy victims. Second, the facilities that should be there after the disaster to minimize the level of destruction, never reach them, as they are at the remotest of the areas.

Leave the disaster aside, even when there are severe weather conditions, which cannot be even termed as disasters; the loss of life and property incurred by the poor Afghans is really immense. The example of the last winter season, in this regard, can be mentioned here. The severe cold weather made many poor people in Afghanistan sick and many others to breathe their last.

As the people in the effected areas, because of their wretched and torn shelters and no fuel or wood to burn, were being victimized, there was no support from the relevant officials to provide them the facilities to fight against the death. The result was misery. And when the severe cold weather turned into disasters in the form of avalanche's in some parts of country, the incapacity of the government to help its people out of the disaster was exposed to a large extent.

The people were buried under the snow, hoping for the help to come, which was, in fact, never planned for. The same was the result of the floods in some of the northern parts of the country. The cruel waves carried away with themselves not only some of the precious lives and properties but also the hopes of the people which they had expected from the government.

The performance of the government authorities is not at all appreciable in some of the recent disasters and incidents as well. Take the example of the current earthquake, which caused a trouble in northernBaghlan province. The reports say that twin (5.4 and 5.7) earthquakes struck five districts of Baghlan province on Monday, June 11, 2012. The earthquakes, though not very much severe, have been able to cause damage.

The most unfortunate fact is that, so far, there has not been a proper estimation of the damage occurred. The raw reports claim that there are dozens of people buried under the wreckages as more than 20 houses have been destroyed in a landslide in Jan Mohammad village of Burka district.

According to the statement of the Deputy Head of Afghanistan Natural Disaster Management Authority (ANDMA), Mohammad AslamSayas, at least 16 people have been wounded and 70 others have been trapped under the wreckages of the houses."Totally we have 16 wounded people, most of them with minor injuries only few of them were hospitalized." Sayas added.

However, provincial head of IRC chief HamedNiyazihas a different story to share. He has said,"According to our stats, 71 women and children have been killed and only two bodies have been recovered so far. 25 houses have been destroyed." This clearly shows how government authorities try to understate the loss of the precious lives of the Afghan people.

By doing so, they want to minimize the criticism which can target their incapacity, but such action, unfortunately, can never return the lives of those poor people who are the victims. Moreover, it has been observed after every disaster that Afghan authorities have nothing else to offer except misleading information.

The best way for them is to equip the relevant organizations and authorities before the disasters occur and make them ready to offer their services in the shortest possible time. Even the ANDMA accepted the incapacity of the government to perform appropriately.

AslamSayas said, "Based on the information obtained from police chief, removing the wreckages is out of the ability of the government. It's really worrying as we don't have sufficient machinery to rescue the victims and identify the bodies."It is really important that the government must use the development funds to support disaster management programs so that they should be fully equipped and properly staffed to perform their best in the face of such disasters.

There are many lives that can be saved through such efforts. Moreover, there are many other areas as well that are necessary to be given proper attention by the government so that such disasters and incidents should be properly handled. Among them making the different parts of country accessible through proper roads is the most important one. Many places happen to be in the remotest of the areas, where the rescue teams and equipment take a very lengthy time to reach as there are no proper roads.

Though security has been the most dominant issue in Afghanistan, there are many other issues as well that kill more people than the lack of security. The proper attention of the government in that regard and its services can save many lives. So, government must pay due consideration and concentration in such areas, as well.

Dilawar Sherzai is the permanent writer of the Daily outlook Afghanistan. He can be reached at dilawar.sherzai@gmail.com

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