As part of a CWS-designed and Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs-funded project, 11 Afghans from national and local government entities, and civil society, including NGO and community representatives from Nangahar Province, gathered recently in New Delhi, India to meet CWS team members and partner (Japan Conservation Engineers, Co. Ltd.) staff. The group came together for follow-up support to earlier learning-sharing about hazard mapping and community awareness raising intended to help cultivate a “map culture” in Afghanistan.
With the recent return of large numbers of Afghans who had sought refuge in Pakistan over the years, Nangahar Province faces significant population growth; and many returnees are now living in disaster prone areas where they can afford the low-price land – precisely because it is dangerous and, therefore, relatively inexpensive. This is possible because Afghan laws and protocols do not restrict construction and development activities – even when there are known disaster risks – and further because there is no process or framework to formally and legally assess such risks.
To continue supporting our Afghan colleagues as they work to address this challenge, another follow-on meeting will be hosted in December to focus on developing laws and protocols about building and settling in flood and landslide prone places, and discussing how such legal instruments be enacted.
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