Water crisis in Afghanistan: 67% of households affected by drought-related hardships

KABUL (SW) – The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in Afghanistan has stated that the two years in review report’s recent data from 2023 highlights the magnitude of the challenge of water crisis, with 67% of households in Afghanistan affected by drought-related hardships, and an additional 16% impacted by floods.

UNDP mentioned in its report, saying that Afghanistan is fighting with a dire water crisis that leaves approximately 79% of its population without adequate access to this essential resource.

“This crisis is not a individual issue but the culmination of several interlinked factors. Severe drought conditions, economic instability, and the devastating effects of prolonged conflicts have significantly impaired the country’s water infrastructure. The situation is further aggravated by the impacts of climate change and extreme weather events, which have led to the destruction of vital water sources and facilities,” UNDP said in a report.

UNDP added the crisis disproportionately affects female-headed households, which face additional barriers in accessing public water facilities, thereby exacerbating their vulnerability.

“Climate change has intensified the frequency and severity of droughts and floods, posing existential threats to Afghanistan’s agricultural communities. These communities, the backbone of the nation’s economy, find themselves at a crossroads, with their survival and livelihoods hanging in the balance.”

On World Water Day, this agency further said in X, saying over 4.4 million people now have better access to schools, health facilities, water points, and emergency shelters.

In 1992, March. 22. was named as World Water Day by the United Nations.

Afghanistan is the sixth country affected by climate change in the world, which is experiencing severe droughts for the third year in a row.

Previously, several international organizations had warned of the lasting consequences of droughts in Afghanistan.