As the climate changes, the earth warms up and poor families in towns and villages across Afghanistan are unable to adapt quickly enough. Children, parents, homes and livelihoods are exposed to devastating and life threatening floods, landslides and other natural hazards with ever increasing regularity.

In villages like Taghar in Nangarhar, eastern Afghanistan, flash floods destroy livelihoods on a yearly basis. Taghar is located at the entrance of a rocky canyon and, during heavy rainfall, water runs off the mountains and flows through the valley unabated. With almost no vegetation growing along the valley to slow the water down, the flash floods crash straight into the village and fields, where the water often stays stagnant for weeks. These floods damage and destroy crops, homes, the school, their mosques and roads - cutting the villagers off from assistance and medical services, and worst of all, may sweep away livestock, children and the elderly.

Afghanaid has been busy working with the villagers of Taghar: supporting them to form a community disaster management committee; providing training and equipment, and assisting them to build a small dam and irrigation canals. Now the community is much better prepared for disasters and able to respond when they occur. Instead of destroying the village and robbing them of hard-won progress, the water that collects behind the small dam now provides for much improved irrigation of their crops throughout the village.

This change would not have been possible without the leadership and support of Gul Rang, who chairs the community disaster management committee. After the heavy rains came this year Gul Rang showed us proudly around the village.

“Before, I was always scared of the black clouds and heavy rain that followed. Everything we have here was in danger from the floods.

When the floods came this year, we waited at the dam to see what would happen. We watched as all the water was held back on the other side of the wall and our houses, fields, Mosque, school, roads and canal all stayed safe!

Standing there, we said our bad days have gone. Thanks to Afghanaid, we can now live in our village safely without any worries of the floods.”

With floods hitting several times a year, agriculture was virtually impossible in the area, so Gul Rang often struggled to feed his family. The villagers are now able to cultivate their land and harvest crops such as green chillies (pictured below).


“We now have all of this because of the protection wall, otherwise it would have been washed away by the most recent flood. The people in my village no longer have the constant worry of floods, our yields are higher and the value of our land has doubled! Afghanaid has really changed our lives.”

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