Since Afghanaid came to our village, we have not had any loss of human or animal life, our land has had a chance to flourish, and everyone feels safer and more relaxed.

Climate change is increasing the severity and frequency of natural disasters and extreme weather in Afghanistan, making life incredibly difficult for families like Ali's (pictured), who rely on the land to feed their families and meet their daily needs.

"Every day people take their animals to graze on the pastures up in the mountains.

In the past, this could become very dangerous because when it started to snow or rain heavily, or if there was an avalanche, these people would not be able to get back to safe land and many people and animals were injured or killed as a result.

Those of us left in the village would go on foot to try and help them – we did what we could but this would often become dangerous for those helping too, as we did not really know what to do."

Ali is working to change this

Ali and his community have been working hard - getting the practical knowledge, training and equipment they need to better prepare for and respond to natural hazards like these - so they can keep their village safe. 

“We have learned how to check for the likelihood of oncoming storms, floods and avalanches, and how to reduce the risks associated with them.

Afghanaid helped us install a loudspeaker alarm system and taught us how to use it to warn the village of possible disasters, and how to evacuate people from risky areas."

By taking part in our training courses, communities like Ali’s can build their resilience and strength.

Ali's village is now better equipped to take meaningful steps forward and make lasting improvements to their lives.

"Since Afghanaid came to our village, we have not had any loss of human or animal life, our land has had a chance to flourish, and everyone feels safer and more relaxed.

Last winter, we were even able to save a group of ten people attempting to cross the mountain from Daykundi into our village. We noticed the signs that a snow avalanche was about to occur and alerted them using our loudspeaker. We directed them to move onto a safer route and just minutes later a huge snow avalanche fell where they had been. Then we were able to give them some of our spare food, which Afghanaid helped us to collect into a foodbank to use in times when people are in need."

Consulting communities to restore landscapes

Restoring degraded land and forests, conserving ecosystems, and replanting destroyed crops, when done in consultation with local communities, can have huge environmental and economic benefits for communities like Ali's.

"The snow avalanches and water run-off used to destroy our crops on this side of our village, which meant that we were unable to feed our families or our animals.

Afghanaid provided us with trees to plant along here to stop the flow of the snow and water, and reinvigorate the damaged soil. They also helped me to plant an apple tree orchard on my land, and taught me how to look after it properly. Now I have a flourishing orchard and my children love the apples!

Afghanaid also taught us how best to cultivate potatoes and wheat throughout the year and, now that we also know how to protect this land from natural disasters, our farms are able to flourish and we can feed our families.”

            

By working in partnership with local communities, we enable them to deliver long-term, lasting change for themselves, their families and beyond. "Thanks to Afghanaid, we have been able to improve our own lives and help others."

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