Snow keeps thousands stuck in Bamyan
BAMAYAN CITY (Pajhwok): Thousands of people have been trapped in their homes over the past one month by heavy snowfall in Waras district of central Bamyan province, officials said on Monday.
Local officials warned patients in Pachandor and Aspigho areas, 60 kilometers from the district center, could die in their homes if roads were not cleared from snow to shift them to hospital.
The deep snow has blocked all roads leading to the two particularly hard-hit areas, making it troublesome for residents to travel.
Provincial council member Mohammad Hassan Asadi, also a resident of the district, told Pajhwok Afghan News four health clinics were operational in the two areas, but there were no professional doctor to treat serious patients, who have to be taken to hospital in the district centre.
“People face problems when they carry their patients to local clinics,” he said, adding that if roads were not reopened to traffic, it was certain serious patients would lose their lives.
Asadi confirmed receiving 15 complaints from residents of the two areas against local government, accusing the administration of paying no attention to their problems.
A local influential figure, Asadullah Iftikhari, said 10 meters high snowdrifts had blocked entrances in some areas and 150 crews daily worked to clear the roads from snow, but it appeared beyond their ability to deal with the problem.
He said no local official had so far visited affected areas to assess people’s problems and carry out rescue and relief operations.
“Local residents have stopped clearing roads with their hands because it is impossible for them to do so without having the required machinery,” Iftikhari said.
Provincial Natural Disaster Management Authority head Mohammad Reza Rafat said the snowfall had not only cut off the two areas in Waras, but crippled hundreds of villages in Panjab, Yakawlang and Waras districts.
“We lack fund and equipment to clear roads from snow. Only emergency issues can be addressed because we have no extra budget.”
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