Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Friday, December 15th, 2017

Facing Winter Challenges

In certain parts of Afghanistan, the winter season is very challenging. People living in such areas have to face different sorts of hardships and troubles. In certain cases, those hardships come in the form of different calamities or natural disasters. As, the facilities to counter such disasters are minimum, the losses are mostly huge and, in certain cases, even result in the death of many innocent lives.
In one of similar incidents, a snow-slide killed eight members of a family in eastern Kunar province on Friday. The family belonged to the Bahadar village of Chapa Dara district and consisted of three children. The incident is really tragic and shows how difficult the lives of the common and poor people of Afghanistan are. In winter season when snow covers different parts of the country and, in few of them, even turn into avalanche disasters, the ones who become the victims are the poor people who have ill-constructed houses and suffer from lack of facilities.  
After any natural disaster in a particular locality, there are many issues that may rise if support does not reach to the effected people quickly. Moreover, it may take the victims a long time before they are able to live their lives the way they used to live, and by that time they may face problems like rise in diseases, malnutrition, lack of proper medication, hygiene issues and unavailability of shelters. Now that winter is getting more intense, the problems may multiply; therefore, it is really essential that speedy measures must be taken when there is any natural disaster. The concerned officials require to act prudently and make sure they reach to all those who have been affected.
The people, at the same time, can make efforts to support their countrymen. Particularly, those who are not influenced by the tragedy and have the capability to support others must stand for others support. They should feel the problems of others as their own and must show true patriotism at the time of trouble.
It is really tragic in Afghanistan that common Afghan people have not only been victimized by wars and conflicts but also by natural disasters. Whether it is avalanches, floods, 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. Every year, the severe cold weather victimizes many poor people as they do not have enough capacity to secure themselves. As the people in the affected areas, because of their wretched and torn shelters and no fuel or wood to burn, are being victimized, there is no enough support from the relevant officials to provide them the facilities to fight against the death. The result is misery. And when the severe cold weather turns into disasters in the form of avalanches, the incapacity of the government to help its people out of the disaster is further exposed.
There are many lives that can be saved through proper and timely 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 a very well-equipped and properly trained disaster management unit is the most important one. At the same time making the different parts of country accessible through proper roads is also vital. 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. It requires to institutionalize its efforts and put to practice National Disaster Management Plan. Department for Disaster Preparedness must be improved and must be equipped and capacitated enough to carry out its responsibilities during and even before disasters.
The developed countries of the world, through institutionalized efforts, have minimized the risks of disasters and have the capacity to react rapidly when such disasters take place and thus save the valuable lives of its people as much as possible. Therefore, the government of Afghanistan must also pay consideration and concentration in such areas and must make sure that poor people do not lose their lives worthlessly.