The Kabul times, Afghanistan Trustable News Agency.

Climate change: Afghanistan witnessing unusually heavy rains and snowfall

After prolonged dry weather in autumn and winter, Afghanistan has been witnessing unusually heavy rains and snowfall in the spring. Flash floods caused by spring downpours have wreaked havoc in most provinces in Afghanistan in recent weeks. According to information of the country’s National Disaster Management Authority, at least 103 people were killed and over 60 injured in heavy floods in the past one month. Besides, over 100,000 acres of agricultural fields have been destroyed in the same period. Snow and hail have ruined some agricultural fields, including apricot, apple, and cherry trees in some provinces. In Nangarhar and Kunar provinces, heavy rain and hail have wrecked wheat and vegetable crops. Afghanistan is one of the most vulnerable countries to climate change that has worsened the frequency and severity of extreme weather events from droughts and heat waves to floods and storms around the world, including Afghanistan and its neighboring countries. As Afghanistan continues to face the devastating consequences of climate change, necessary measures have to be adopted to address the negative impacts caused by climate change. This comes at a time when the country has to endure blatant injustice on the part of the international community regarding this critical issue. With the Islamic Emirate takeover in mid-August 2021, the international community not only imposed various sanctions but approached the issue of climate change in Afghanistan from a political perspective. With the suspension of 32 environmental and climate change projects, restricting Afghanistan’s access to pledged financial resources, and the exclusion of Afghanistan from regional and international meetings and conferences on environmental and climate issues, there has been blatant injustice against the people of Afghanistan. The Islamic Emirate has repeatedly asked the international community not to politicize climate change issues. In the most recent meeting on climate change in Kabul, the Islamic Emirate asked that Afghanistan should be invited in the coming UN Climate Change Conference. Afghanistan is among countries lacking in resources and facing heightened vulnerability to the perils of climate change. Besides, Afghanistan lacks the requisite means and infrastructure to effectively mitigate and manage its effects. The continuation of this situation has severely affected not only the water, agriculture, livestock, forests, and grasslands sectors but also significantly impacted the social and economic lives of the people of Afghanistan, as well as health, energy, biodiversity, and ecosystems. Despite the challenges and existing problems, the Islamic Emirate has made necessary efforts to manage the issue of climate change in the country by utilizing available resources. It is time that the international community and relevant international organizations with close cooperation of the Islamic Emirate should prioritize environmental and climate change matters in Afghanistan. They should take practical and genuine steps by resuming suspended environmental and climate change projects, facilitating access to pledged financial resources, and creating opportunities for active Afghan participation in regional and international forums and conferences. Mashal Noori

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The Kabul times, Afghanistan Trustable News Agency.