Famine-like situation looms large in Uruzgan
KABUL/TIRINKOT (Pajhwok): Prolonged road blockades and insecurity in three districts of central Uruzgan province have led to a sharp decline in food supplies and hike in prices, a legislator said on Monday.
Obaidullah Barakzai, head of the Wolesi Jirga Complaints Commission, told the house that roads leading to Charchino, Geezab and Khas Uruzgan districts had been closed for a month and a half because of intense fighting.
“Today is the 48th day of road closures in these districts, where food supplies on the verge of depletion. There is a strong likelihood of a humanitarian disaster if emergency supplies are not rushed there,” the lawmaker warned.
With the road closed, he said, prices of edibles had shot up. In some remote areas, a 49-kilogram bag of flour accounts for Rs16,000, the MP claimed, saying the injured could not be treated due to the closure of health clinics.
The wounded could not be evacuated to Uruzgan, the provincial capital, as there is no let-up in clashes between the security forces and militants, according to the public representatives, who complained remedial measures had not been initiated yet.
Another MP from Uruzgan, Mohammad Hanif Hanifi, confirmed the road blockades had created famine-like conditions in the restive districts. The Taliban had mined the routes and placed huge rocks at several points, he alleged.
Edibles were somehow transported to Khas Uruzgan at a limited scale from neighbouring Ghazni province, but the situation in Geezab and Charchino was particularly alarming, he remarked.
The road to Khas Uruzgan passes through Charchino, whose district chief Mualem Faiz Mohammad said locals avoided travelling the route that had been heavily mined.
However, he added Khas Uruzgan continued to receive supplies from Ghazni but the two other districts were faced with a severe shortage of food items.
Dost Mohammad Nayab, the governor’s spokesman, told Pajhwok Afghan News residents of the three districts were caught in tremendous hardships.
The injured, if not provided with emergency relief, could lose their lives, he said, adding the provincial government was unable to reopen the roads. The spokesman urged higher-ups in Kabul to take immediate steps to remedy the situation,
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