We have undertaken counter-disaster winter programs: Minister

Due to being a mountainous territory, with the advent of cold season serious problems arise in impassable regions as in recent years due to insecurities as well as natural disasters, a number of provinces have been affected.
The Kabul Times reporter made the following exclusive interview with State Minister for Disasters Management Najib Aqa Fahim on their programs and preparations on cold season.
Q: As Afghanistan has always been vulnerable due to natural disasters, what are your programs to tackle problems of impassable regions during winter?
A: Our winter counter-disaster programs have been prepared according to available threats and possible damages during winter, because due to impassable roads, disaster management is difficult. Roads became closed, avalanches and floods are possible. In order to prevent or at least minimize financial damages and causalities, we have arranged our winter disaster management programs in coordination with other relevant responsible bodies.
Q: Could you please specify your plans for these regions?
A: In our winter disaster management program, this ministry is a policy maker body and the jobs of other partners are clear. The possible vulnerable provinces and the threats have been clarified. Essentials including tents, food and non-food aids, depots and a quantity of cash aids have been allocated for emergency situations and put at the disposable of provincial committees led by provincial governors.
Q: How the jobs of relevant bodies been specified in your winter programs?
A: Different ministries have their own responsibilities, for example the MoPH is responsible to send mobile medical teams to vulnerable regions, the MoPW has to keep the roads open, the MoRRD cooperates in connecting the rural roads open, the MoAIL contributes in providing of animal foods and fodder while the MoD supports counter-disaster operations from security point of view.
Q: Which provinces are further vulnerable to natural disasters?
A: These provinces include Badakhshan, Ghor, Dykondi, Badghis, Farah,Nooristan, Kunar as well as Salang high way.
Q: A number of countrymen, women have been displaced from their native villages due to wars and natural disasters, what are your programs for IDPs?
A: Unfortunately in recent years, due to drought, the number of IDPshas increased and they have lost their cattles, lands and agriculture who are in urgent need of immediate assistance. We have provided tents, food and non-foodstuff, kitchen utensils, medicines and first aids for them and would be distributed upon need.
Q: Do you have precise data on the number of vulnerable places, IDPs and their animals?
A: Totally twenty provinces including northern and north western and central and southern provinces like, Uruzgan, Zabul, Bamyan, Dykondi, Nimroz, Badghis, Kandahar etc are strongly posed with threat of drought, 650000 people have been displaced, due to wars and drought, over 3000000 animals have been posing with shortage of fodder. The MoAIL has supplied 13500 tonnes fodder for animals. 12200000 people are posing with threat of shortage of food and are in dire need of assistance. The MoAIL has supplied and sent 90000 tonnes wheats from its strategic reserves to these people.
Q: What is the role of donors and what are their aids?
A: We and donors have drafted a joint plan based on which they have prepared food and non-foodstuff for 1.600000 million people. They have promised to continue their contribution for over two million IDPs until the end of winter. IDPs will be accommodated in temporary camps, and each family would receive US $200.
Q: What are your main challenges?
A: Insecurity and continued wars in some provinces which disturb our relieve supply operations are our main challenges.
Suraya Raiszada

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