Friday, July 19, 2024

Why is Afghanistan among the top 10 most vulnerable to Climate Change?

Immigration News

Fidel Rahmati
Fidel Rahmati
Fidai Rahmati is the editor and content writer for Khaama Press. You may follow him at Twitter @FidelRahmati

Written By: Tabasum Nasiry

Climate change has become a serious concern among scientists and experts worldwide in recent years and is referred to as a global disaster and threat. Afghanistan is ranked among the top ten countries most vulnerable to climate change. Experts believe that floods and droughts are two natural disasters that have significantly affected Afghanistan.

In a broader sense, climate change refers to long-term changes in the Earth’s climate that result from human use of oil, gas, and coal for homes, greenhouse gases, transportation factories, and industrial production, including the production of nuclear equipment and weapons.

Najibullah Sadeed, a climate issues researcher, described Afghanistan as a country severely affected by climate change in a conversation with Khaama Press. He mentioned that climate change in Afghanistan has several major impacts, including increased temperatures above the global average, forest fires, glacier melting, dust storms, and particularly droughts and floods.

According to Mr. Sadeed, the average annual temperature in Afghanistan is about 1.8 degrees higher than normal, and in the summer, the temperature is about 6 degrees above average.

Mr. Sadeed noted that Afghanistan, being a mountainous and agricultural country, needs more water due to rising temperatures.

The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), the UN, the European Union, and several international organizations have warned about climate change’s impacts on Afghanistan, emphasizing that this phenomenon will increasingly exacerbate humanitarian crises and natural disasters in the country.

Droughts and floods are two other factors of climate change in Afghanistan. According to Mr. Sadeed, climate change disrupts the water cycle, leading to droughts in some cases and severe floods in others.

Mr. Sadeed added that water disruption due to climate change significantly harms Afghanistan. He highlighted the importance of reducing reliance on the water sector, using effective irrigation technology, high-yield crop cultivation, and increasing the country’s water capacity as crucial parts of the solution.

On a larger scale, he called for a comprehensive plan to control climate change in Afghanistan. This plan should include various methods, such as creating small dams, large dams, and catchment areas to manage water effectively.

The climate issues researcher warned that balancing the country’s water disruption is time-consuming, especially given the low public awareness, limited resources, and lack of long-term government plans.

Additionally, the type of rainfall and increased temperatures in Afghanistan have led to intense rainfall and flooding as climate change impacts the country.

Mr. Sadeed mentioned that the rise in temperature has changed snow precipitation to rain, disrupting water storage.

Mohammad Ajan Naseri, an agricultural expert in the country, stated that Afghanistan relies heavily on agriculture, with over 80% of the population engaged in farming and agriculture in rural areas and provinces.

Mohammad Ajan noted that climate change damages in Afghanistan, including increased temperatures, droughts, and floods, severely impact agriculture, leading to the destruction of plants, crops, agricultural lands, and livestock.

He emphasized that floods and strong winds destroy crops and ruin agricultural lands, requiring years of restoration for farming.

According to the agricultural expert, rainfall and temperature fluctuations due to climate change occurring at inappropriate times have affected Afghanistan’s agriculture in recent years, destroying most agricultural yields.

The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) stated that Afghanistan is among the top ten countries most vulnerable to climate crises, experiencing severe climate changes and natural disasters.

The organization mentioned, “Severe droughts are intensifying, destroying livelihoods and increasing hunger. The temperature is rising faster than the global average. Environmental degradation threatens agriculture and endangers livelihoods.”

Meanwhile, droughts, agricultural land destruction, and lack of resources in Afghanistan have increased people’s needs, leading to poverty for millions in the country.

According to reports, 3.2 million people in Afghanistan, including children, suffer from acute malnutrition, and 28.8 million people, two-thirds of Afghanistan’s population, require humanitarian assistance.

Rosa Otunbayeva, the UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Afghanistan, also stated on World Environment Day that Afghanistan’s beautiful environment is under threat.

According to statistics from the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), recent floods in Afghanistan destroyed about 10,000 hectares of land.

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