The Kabul times, Afghanistan Trustable News Agency.

Natural disasters still taking victims in Afghanistan

In a recent report, the provincial officials of southern Helmand province said that at least seven members of a family were martyred, when the roof of their house collapsed on them in Kajaki district of the province, late on last night. According to the officials, three others have also sustained slight and deep injuries in a nearby wall collapse in the same district. Hafiz Abdul Bari Rashid Director of the Provincial Department of Information and Culture confirmed the death of at least seven members of a family and the injury of three others in the collapse of their rain-soaked and mad-made house and the nearby wall. Recent torrential rainfalls and natural disasters have claimed tens of lives and injured many others in various parts of the country. The State Ministry for Disaster Management of the Islamic Emirate, in its latest report, has also said that more than 50 people including children and women lost their lives in recent flash floods across the country. Confirming more than 36 were injured in the flash floods, the ministry’s spokesman Janan Sayeq said 706 homes have been completely destroyed, up to 400 livestock have perished, and 1,606 homes have also been partially damaged by the recent flash floods. The death toll and damages may rise, as the heavy rainfalls still continue in some provinces of the country. According to him, the floods have affected the provinces of Badghis, Uruzgan, Farah, Paktia, Zabul, Helmand, Kunar, Kabul, Badakhshan, Ghor, Kandahar, Nangarhar, Takhar, and Parwan, claiming many lives, destroying hundreds of residential units, agricultural land, roads, bridges and check dams in the said provinces. Moreover, some of the flood victims have reported significant financial losses and are calling for attention to their challenges. Sadiqullah, a resident of Helmand said that the floods have caused a lot of damage, costing 150,000 Afghani in financial losses. A few days ago, the ministry also reported the live loss of 33 people and injuring 27 others in some provinces. On the other hand, the recent rainfalls and floods have caused an increase in the level of water in the country’s rivers, increasing the generation of electricity in Naghlu, Mahipar and Surobi dams in Kabul and in some other provinces in the last few days and is being distributed through all public networks. Within the past 24 hours, the three power plants have contributed an additional 1360 megawatts of electricity to the national grid. The increased electricity generation meets the growing energy demands, thanks to the abundant water supply from the recent rains. This surplus electricity has been efficiently distributed across the general network, benefiting various regions throughout the country. This is while the country is heavily dependent on imported electricity from neighboring countries, such as Central Asia and Iran, which supply over 75% of its electricity. Energy in the country is provided by hydropower followed by fossil fuel and solar power. Currently, less than 50% of Afghanistan’s population has access to electricity. This covers the major cities in the country. Many rural areas do not have access to adequate electricity but this should change after the major CASA1000 project is completed. Afghanistan currently generates around 600 megawatts (MW) of electricity from its several hydroelectric plants as well as using fossil fuel and solar panels. Over 720 MW more is imported from neighboring Iran, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan. Due to the large influx of expats from neighboring Pakistan and Iran, Afghanistan may require as much as 7,000 MW of electricity in the coming years. The Afghan National Development Strategy has identified alternative energy, such as wind and solar energy, as a high-value power source to develop. As a result, a number of solar and wind farms have been established with more currently under development. The country has the potential to produce over 23,000 MW of hydroelectricity. The Afghan government continues to seek technical assistance from neighboring and regional countries to build more dams. A number of dams with hydroelectric power stations were built between the 1950s and the mid-1970s, which included the Kajaki in the Kajaki District of Helmand Province and the Naghlu in the Surobi District of Kabul Province. The Kajaki provides up to 151 MW of electricity to both Helmand and Kandahar provinces. The power station at the Kamal Khan Dam provides electricity to residents of Nimruz Province. Residents of Kabul, Kapisa and Nangarhar provinces receive electricity from the Naghlu plant. Kunduz residents receive it from the local Nahr Gawkush power station. Residents of Badakhshan province are connected to the Shorabak power plant in the Faizabad District. The power plant at the Salma Dam (Afghanistan-India Friendship Dam) provides up to 42 MW of electricity to residents of Herat Province. A number of other water dams are being built in different parts of the country so that more people have access to basic electricity. Residents of small cities or towns in the central provinces continue to build small dams for water storage and the production of electricity. Recently some Chinese experts and entrepreneurs found interest in helping Afghanistan with these projects. Mashal Noori

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The Kabul times, Afghanistan Trustable News Agency.