“I was mentally facing troubles, every day thinking about how I could rebuild my house and pay my loan,” says Ghulam Abbas, of Enjil district in northwestern Afghanistan.
The troubles facing Abbas, a farmer and daily labourer, and father of 6, were not only in his mind.
In March 2019, heavy rains caused devastating flash floods in Afghanistan, destroying homes and crops in Enjil.
“Floods ruined my home and my cultivated lands,” says Abbas. “For a short time after the flash flood my family were in a shelter. Afterwards one of our neighbours provided us one room to stay.
“I lost all my assets, so I had to borrow from relatives.”
In addition to the loss of housing and livelihoods, Abbas says there was a lack of drinking water in the village after the floods. The closest health centre and school are 5 km away, and Abbas says he is concerned about his wife’s health, and the need for “proper education for our children in order to make a brighter future for our country.”
With support from the Humanitarian Coalition and the government of Canada, Oxfam Canada responded to the most pressing needs of families in the Enjil district, including digging wells and providing grants for housing construction and repair.
Abbas and his large family were selected for housing support.
“Oxfam assistance was quite beneficial to us, as I was able to purchase some construction materials and started the reconstruction of my house with assistance of my family members,” he says.