The Kabul times, Afghanistan Trustable News Agency.

Adverse impacts of climate change in Afghanistan

Climate change has affected many countries in the world, and Afghanistan stands as one of the countries that is highly affected. The country has been facing water scarcity due to climate change. Following the concerns regarding Afghanistan’s vulnerability to climate change, the OCHA, in its recent report, has said that Afghanistan is among the 10 countries most affected by climate change. However, it doesn’t play a role in greenhouse gas emissions. According to the report, Afghanistan experienced the worst drought last year, which has not occurred in the past 30 years and negatively affected over 50 areas of the country. Based on the report’s findings, the drought has increased from 39% in 2021 to 64% in 2022, and 25 out of 34 provinces of the country are expected to be affected by the drought. Besides, OCHA announces the convening of the 28th climate change session in the next several months, with the presence of UN agencies, leaders of climate-vulnerable countries, and environmental institutions. It is expected that the session participants will make significant decisions on addressing the challenges arising from climate change, including reducing greenhouse gas emissions and, most importantly, evaluating financial assistance to vulnerable countries. However, officials from the National Environmental Protection Agency said that climate change has adversely affected Afghanistan, and therefore, the participation of Afghanistan’s representative in the session is vital. The head of the climate change department in the agency said that no representative from Afghanistan had been invited to the 28th climate change session due to political reasons. It comes as Afghanistan has been severely affected by climate change. “The International community should not overlook the environmental rights of the people of Afghanistan, as doing so would deprive Afghanistan of global financial opportunities in the fight against climate change,” Amin said. However, due to the lack of infrastructure and stable governments, Afghanistan has been unable to utilize its water resources properly. Consequently, the country has always been prone to droughts and floods. Mismanagement of water resources, overexploitation of groundwater, and contamination of water sources are severe water and environmental challenges in Afghanistan, and decades of war and governmental inefficiency have turned into crises. In addition to the mismanagement of water resources and environmental degradation, climate change has exacerbated the severity of the crisis. Studies indicate that from the 1950s to the present, the average temperature has been steadily rising. By the middle of the current century, the average temperature in different regions of Afghanistan will increase by about two degrees Celsius. This temperature increase will result in the loss of snow cover and natural glaciers, leading to further evaporation. Another issue discussed in the context of security and water scarcity is the matter of shared and transboundary waters. An example of this is the issue of the Helmand River and the downstream water rights [with Iran], which has garnered considerable public attention. Climate change and recurring droughts, along with population growth and improper use of limited water resources, create water tensions between countries. It must be noted that disregard for environmental rights and improper management of water resources have destructive effects that extend beyond geographical borders, affecting security, economy, and health in the region. Dust storms, witnessed recently in western Afghanistan, are one example of these crises. These dust storms have detrimental effects not only on people’s health but also on the economy and livelihoods. Therefore, the Islamic Emirate must understand the issue of climate change and address its resulting damages, particularly water scarcity in the country. It should continue to work on water management and focus more on preserving groundwater and discouraging its excessive use by citizens to alleviate water scarcity in the country. S.Raqib

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The Kabul times, Afghanistan Trustable News Agency.