The Kabul times, Afghanistan Trustable News Agency.
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Climate change’s adverse effect on Afghanistan

Climate change alters precipitation patterns, leading to erratic rainfall and increased intensity of storms. In Afghanistan, this manifests as heavy downpours concentrated over short periods, overwhelming the capacity of natural waterways and infrastructure to manage water flow

Climate change poses significant challenges to Afghanistan, exacerbating environmental vulnerabilities and increasing the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events, including deadly floods. The article aims to discuss how climate change impacts Afghanistan and contributes to devastating floods: 1. Changing precipitation patterns: Climate change alters precipitation patterns, leading to erratic rainfall and increased intensity of storms. In Afghanistan, this manifests as heavy downpours concentrated over short periods, overwhelming the capacity of natural waterways and infrastructure to manage water flow. 2. Glacial melting: Afghanistan is home to numerous glaciers in its mountainous regions. As temperatures rise due to climate change, these glaciers melt at accelerated rates, contributing to increased water flow in rivers and streams. During periods of intense rainfall or rapid snowmelt, this heightened flow can lead to flash floods. 3. Deforestation and land degradation: Deforestation and land degradation, exacerbated by climate change, reduce the natural capacity of landscapes to absorb and retain water. In Afghanistan, widespread deforestation, often driven by fuel wood extraction and land clearance for agriculture, leaves hillsides vulnerable to erosion and increases runoff during heavy rainfall events. 4. Drought-flood cycle: Climate change exacerbates the cycle of droughts and floods in Afghanistan. Prolonged droughts, a consequence of shifting precipitation patterns, create parched landscapes with compacted soils that are less able to absorb water. When heavy rainfall finally occurs, the hardened ground leads to rapid runoff, exacerbating the risk of flooding. 5. Impact on vulnerable communities: Afghanistan’s population, particularly those living in rural and peri-urban areas, are disproportionately affected by climate change-induced floods. Vulnerable communities often lack adequate infrastructure, such as flood defenses and early warning systems, leaving them exposed to the devastating impacts of flooding, including loss of life, destruction of homes, and damage to livelihoods. Addressing the impacts of climate change and mitigating the risk of deadly floods in Afghanistan requires a multi-faceted approach. This includes investing in climate-resilient infrastructure, such as improved drainage systems and flood defenses, promoting sustainable land management practices to reduce erosion and increase water retention, enhancing early warning systems to alert communities to impending floods, and fostering international cooperation to mitigate global climate change. By taking proactive measures to adapt to changing environmental conditions and mitigate the drivers of climate change, Afghanistan can build resilience and better protect its population from the devastating impacts of floods and other climate-related disasters. Sayed Asef Fekrat

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The Kabul times, Afghanistan Trustable News Agency.