It’s been over a month since the devastating earthquakes struck Herat province. The survivors, facing homelessness and struggling to access timely health services, find life increasingly challenging, especially for women and children. Some survivors attribute their children’s illnesses to the harsh weather and inadequate shelter, highlighting the urgent need for warm accommodations.
In the aftermath of the substantial earthquakes, residents of Herat province have endured a month of living in tents on streets and plains. Some survivors now reveal that, as the cold season sets in, they are yet to secure warm shelter, resulting in illness among their children and women due to the harsh weather.
Mansoor, a resident of the Shaidae area in the city of Herat, reveals that the earthquakes demolished his home, compelling him to endure the cold weather under a tent. He asserts that the absence of shelter and facilities resulted in the tragic loss of his eight-month-old child, sparking concerns for his remaining children.
Addressing the Hasht-e Subh Daily, Mansoor recounts, “During the first earthquake, our house walls cracked, and by the second day, the house was destroyed. Initially lacking a tent outside, the cold weather took a toll, and my eight-month-old child fell ill and succumbed. In the Shaidae area, two neighboring children also perished due to illnesses exacerbated by the cold.”
The survivor of the earthquake voices apprehension about the well-being of his remaining children, fearing they won’t endure the cold in the flimsy tent. He elaborates that his current shelter is delicate, and acquiring a sturdier one is financially beyond his means.
A significant number of Herat earthquake victims express the gravity of homelessness as a looming threat, coupled with restricted access to health services. Residents in remote areas emphasize the absence of health centers and mobile health teams in their villages. Furthermore, the challenge is exacerbated by a lack of clean water.
Gulagha, a resident of Shakaraab village in the Gulran district, discloses the hardships his family faces in the aftermath of the earthquake. He reveals that his children are unwell, with limited access to health services. The earthquake has brought forth numerous challenges for them. Despairingly, he expresses, “Witnessing these misfortunes, I wish I had perished in those earthquakes, freeing myself from the torment all at once. My children are ailing, fading away in the corner of the tent. I can only peer at them through the fog, helpless to do anything.”
Expressing dissatisfaction, this resident from the Gulran district complains to relief organizations, accusing them of inadequate cooperation with the local populace. He emphasizes, “We informed the organizations that arrived that we lack a clinic, and our children are falling ill. We requested the dispatch of mobile health teams. To date, no teams have been sent.”
Gulagha underscores the impact of the earthquake on their community’s only water source, creating significant challenges for Shakaraab village due to the absence of potable water. He warns that if the situation persists, their children’s lives are at risk. He calls on aid organizations to dispatch mobile health teams to the region.
Meanwhile, the United Nations reports that, with winter approaching, a considerable number of earthquake survivors in Herat province are still residing in tents. The organization conveyed on its X (formerly Twitter) account last week that these victims lack adequate shelter and face challenges accessing clean water.
The United Nations underscores the ongoing need for immediate assistance one month after the destructive earthquakes. Previously, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reported that only 26% of the requested $93.6 million budget for aiding earthquake victims in Herat province during the approaching winter has been received.