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Afghanistan: Flood Response Plan (Feb - Jun 2019)

SCENARIO OVERVIEW

The flood season in Afghanistan primarily runs between March and June due to snow melt and rain. Several factors have combined to increase the severity of potential flooding in 2019, with serious early floods already occurring in March. Following two years of severe drought, the influence of global weather patterns (El Niño) has seen above average precipitation across much of the country in 2019. Given the increased likelihood of above average temperatures, as well as above average rainfall and snow at higher elevations, the risk of flooding is elevated through until the end of the rainy season (April-June) in the western, northern, and central areas of Afghanistan.  

According to iMMAP analysis, 190,789 HH (1,335,00 people) are living in areas that are vulnerable to flood impact. Based on forecasts and historical data, the Inter-Cluster Coordination Team (ICCT), along with technical partners FEWSNET, iMMAP and Afghan Meteorological Department (AMD) have estimated that 499 villages and 281,000 people (40,150 HH) are at risk of severe impacts from flooding in 2019 and will require immediate humanitarian assistance over the course of the three-month season. However, the above-mentioned early flooding in March and April has already affected over 200,000 people and destroyed over 10,000 homes, putting the season on track to potentially exceed initial planning figures. Beyond the direct damage caused by the flooding, there have been serious losses of agricultural land, livestock and livelihoods. With many flood-risk areas already affected by the severe drought in 2017/18 and ongoing conflict, there are serious concerns about increasing food insecurity, malnutrition and the spread of communicable diseases, including AWD/cholera, if the needs of flood-affected families are not addressed in a timely manner.

PLANNING ASSUMPTIONS

  1. Rainfall patterns will continue to evolve according to El Niño and other weather forecasts.
  2. There will be no significant change in the tempo or pattern of the conflict over the duration of the flood season. 
  3. Flood response activities will continue to face access constraints in many areas due to ongoing conflict and related displacement, as well as damage to transport infrastructure in remote areas from flooding.
  4. The humanitarian community will, where feasible, provide an initial aid package at the same time as initial assessments to minimize the need for multiple missions. The ability to do follow-up assessments and track needs over time will be limited due to access constraints and resources, especially in isolated areas.
  5. Humanitarian needs in flood-affected communities will be compounded by the loss of resilience from drought and conflict. Many families will be affected by several different types of incidents, with resulting increases in protection concerns and a reduced ability to absorb shocks.

RESPONSE OBJECTIVES

  1. Save lives in the areas of highest need through rapid provision of a response package of relief items and services.
  2. Provide support for rapid recovery through targeted assistance to restart livelihoods, support transitional shelter, and restore services such as health and education. 
  3. Ensure that protection concerns resulting both from flood and from the combination of flood, drought and ongoing conflict are mitigated or addressed.
     
Webspace(s): 
Organization(s): 
United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
Original Publication Date: 
06 May 2019
Document type: 
Contingency Plan
Location(s): 
Afghanistan
Theme(s): 
Natural Disasters
Coordination hub(s): 
National Level Coordination
Disaster(s)/Emergency: 
Afghanistan: Flash Floods - Mar 2019