5,500 Trees for Disaster-Prone Communities in Badakhshan

During the past four months, the communities in Badgak and Nukshar villages in Badakhshan’s Kofab district planted 5,500 trees
06.08.2017
Kofab is one of the most vulnerable districts to natural disasters in Badakhshan, but the newly planted trees will help to protect residents’ farmland, orchards and residential houses from seasonal avalanches and landslides. Around 1,600 people living in those villages will directly benefit from this forestation programme. The German government funded the project at a total cost of nearly AFN 2 million.

Today, Kofab district’s inhabitants celebrated the forestation of 5.7 hectares of land, corresponding to the size of five football fields. Pacha Khan, the District Governor, underlined: “The communities are facing a recurrent loss of valuable farmland due to natural disasters. This has a huge impact on the inhabitants’ economic situation as half of the population in Kofab depends on agriculture and livestock”.

One of the villagers, Rahmatullah, mentioned: “I am very happy about this forestation programme. The trees will make living here safer and we don’t need to be afraid of avalanches and landslides destroying our livelihoods anymore. Badakhshan is a remote province and there are only few donors that implement projects. Therefore, it’s of great value to us that the Afghan-German Cooperation is active here.”

Together with the Provincial Governor’s Office and the Department of Rural Rehabilitation and Development, Kofab’s District Development Assembly (DDA) had identified Badgak and Nukshar villages as priority locations for disaster prevention. The assessment was based on a risk map that had been financially and technically supported by the German government. The map identifies the most disaster-prone locations in Badakhshan province. The two villages’ Community Development Councils (CDCs) implemented the forestation project, technically supported by Afghan-German Cooperation engineers.

As part of Germany’s cooperation with Afghanistan, the programme Regional Capacity Development in Afghanistan (RCD) is financed by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and implemented by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH. In six provinces in northern Afghanistan, RCD supports its partners’ development priorities in the provinces and districts while at the same time providing training and coaching programs for civil servants. With its broad range of activities, the programme aims at increasing Afghan ownership of the development process, strengthening state institutions and promoting transparency and inclusiveness. The RCD component Badakhshan Natural Disaster Prevention (BNDP) is addressing the challenges of major natural disasters in Badakhshan province including floods, landslides, avalanches and earthquakes.