Mudslides wipe out homes and livelihoods after torrential rain in Tajikistan

Published: 17 May 2016 15:52 CET

By Andreea Anca, IFRC

Thousands of people have seen their homes and farmland ravaged by recent mudslides in northern Tajikistan.

More than 1,500 people have been evacuated and a further 2,550 households affected after heavy rain and strong winds caused havoc in the worst hit areas.

Roads have also been damaged, livestock lost and arable land washed away since mudslides began on 9 May.

The Tajikistan Red Crescent deployed 48 volunteers and 24 staff from its National Disaster Response Team to the Panjekent district of Sughd province and the Rudaky district of the Direct Ruled Districts which bore the brunt of the mudslides.

First aid and psychosocial support were provided by the Red Crescent teams, as well as help with the evacuation efforts.

Many houses have suffered severed structural damage and the water supply has also been disrupted. Aini and Panjekent districts of the Sughd province, Baljuvon, Farkhor, Jaloliddin Balhi districts of the Khatlon province, Rasht, Rudaki and Sangvor districts of the Direct Ruled Districts, and Davroz district of the Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Oblast have all been affected.

The latest statistics released by the State Commission for Emergency Situations in Tajikistan show that flooding this month has affected 2,550 households, seen 1,500 people evacuated from their homes and at least four people killed.

The Red Crescent Society of Tajikistan is working closely with the Emergency Commission and the UN agencies to provide relief assistance to the affected households.

Tajikistan is no stranger to mudslides, landslides and flash flooding emergency and emergency efforts often are often hampered by tough terrain and conditions, making access to remote mountainous villages and towns difficult.

The International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies is gearing up to release emergency funds to support the Tajikistan Red Crescent’s operation. The Germany Red Cross is also preparing to provide food parcels for the most affected families.

The Red Crescent has been working for a decade to put measures in place that reduce of the impact of severe weather and reduce the risk to communities - such as reinforcing riverbanks, tree planting and clearing irrigation channels to fight against the effects of flooding and landslides, particularly in disaster-prone Penjekent province.