Thousands of families have been left homeless following a devastating quake that struck the Gayan district of Afghanistan’s eastern Paktika province on June 22. The quake victims are appealing for support to rebuilding their houses.
Gul Mohammad, 70, whose 17-year old son was killed in the quake and another member of his family was badly injured in the natural disaster, said that his family has been living in a tent after the earthquake destroyed his house.
“My house was my only shelter and it is what I have worked for throughout my life. I had managed to build the house but it was destroyed within seconds,” Mohammad said.
“I need at least 4 million afghani (1 U.S. dollar equals 88 afghani) to rebuild my house and live along with the remaining of my family members under the same roof.”
The residents of Gayan have been living in mud houses without running water, gas and electricity.
Living in the shattered Wachakai village of Gayan district, Gul Mohammad, who is the head of an 18-member family, said that the tremble had killed 32 people and destroyed around 200 houses in his village.
Recalling the devastating quake, he said, “It was almost at midnight when we were waked up by shocks, and seconds later the roof of our house caved in.”
Eight hours after the quake, the villagers helped pull out the body of his son from the rubbles.
At least 1,000 people have been confirmed dead and more than 1,500 others injuried in the quake.
Gayan is a very poor area as there is no asphalted roads, schools and health centers to provide medical treatment to the injured victims or facilitate the families to take their injured ones to hospitals in neighboring provinces.
Although humanitarian assistances including foodstuff, blankets, tents and medicines have been sent to the area, the affected families are in need of more support to recover.
“We have received tents, but we need more assistance and above all we need support to rebuild our houses,” another resident of Gayan district Mohammad Akram said.
Akram who was injured in the quake and is the head of a 53-member family said that scores of houses had been destroyed and all the affected families want to rebuild their houses.
“All houses in our village were destroyed in the earthquake and we all need to rebuild our houses,” another survivor of the tremble Rahim said.
Responding to the plight of the quake victims, provincial head for Information and Culture Mohammad Amin Zaefi said that the provincial government, with the support of national and international aid agencies, will do its best to help rebuild the houses of the affected families.