BBC Persian (Translated by RAWA), June 2, 2008

Bad Conditions of Displaced in the North of Afghanistan

Although the temperature in Mazar-e-Sharif has risen to more than 40 C, no practical help has been given to the people.

Haroon Najafizada

Thousands of villagers of the Balkh province in North Afghanistan have settled in a desert near the Sholgira River after losing their cattle and cultivating lands.

These villagers have come to this river (which is in the south of Mazar-e-Sharif) in groups from the villages of Alabraz so that “at least they have access to water”. They have either come on foot or on their animals like donkeys.

IDPs in Mazar-e-Sharif
"“We estimate that now over 3.5 million people are seriously food-insecure and in need of a safety net,” said Saduddin Safi, head of the department of food-security at the MAIL.-IRIN News, (June 12, 2008)"

The villagers said that all their agricultural land in the area of Alabraz had been destroyed and because of the absence of grass, thousands of their cattle had also died.

They said that deprivation from drinkable water in their place had forced them to travel for more than eight hours to reach this river.

Without Food, Without Cure

When I saw the desert, the first thing that caught my eye was the thousands of small tents that were planted in the burning desert.

The displaced have brought small bags of clothes, important things, eatables and some other things and as they said they would live near this river “till an unknown period of time”.

Though the water of the river doesn’t look clean and hygienic but the only hope of the displaced group is the existence of water in the area.

The sounds of the cries of children can be heard almost from every tent. Their mothers said that they had fed them bread and water for the last few days.

Some children are suffering from serious diseases but there is no sign of a doctor or medicines in the area.

I also saw some tents where old men and women lay in beds and their close ones cried around them.

Efforts for Giving Aid

There is no source of transportation in the area which could take the displaced to the city of Mazar-e-Sharif to welfare centers which is about two hours away.

The displaced who seemed tense and uncomfortable said that they didn’t know how to live with the little food that was left.

Representatives from the Provincial Council of Balkh and Red Crescent were also present and were busy counting the displaced.


Although the temperature in Mazar-e-Sharif has risen to more than 40 C, no practical help has been given to the people. The people fear that if they continue to live in such conditions many sick people could die and the displaced could be faced by a huge human catastrophe.

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