Afghanistan: fears of a cholera epidemic among earthquake survivors

Audio 01:24

An Afghan child laments the destruction of his home after the earthquake, in Paktika province, June 26, 2022. © Ebrahim Noroozi / AP

Text by: RFI Follow

2 mins

After the earthquake which claimed the lives of more than 1,000 people in the south-east of Afghanistan on the night of Tuesday 21 to Wednesday 22 June, the survivors are getting organized despite the greatest disarray.

Those who survived are living in tents outside their damaged or destroyed homes.

This is due to aftershocks like Monday, June 27 in the morning in the district of Gayan, in the province of Paktika, the most affected.

While aid arrives in dribs and drabs, the UN fears that a cholera epidemic will break out in the area.


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With our special correspondent in the province of Paktika,

Sonia Ghezali

Khunabas Khan lost 13 members of his family in the earthquake in the village of Bariam Kheil.

The extended family lived in a large earthen building, which is now a

heap of ruins


The young man then steps over the stones that cover the ground, points to the remains of what were rooms.

Amidst the debris are a child's sandal and an iron headboard.


Three people were sleeping here, they are all dead.

And in that room, my uncle slept with his four sons.

He survived but all his children were killed.


The family owned nearly 80 head of cattle: only one cow survived.

The smell you smell is all the animals we had that are under the rubble

 ," says Khunabas Khan.

The smell is pestilential.

The survivors live a few meters away

, in the open air, in makeshift tents.

In a neighboring village, Dr. Mohammad Azam Amiri is making his rounds, worried about the deplorable sanitary conditions: “ 


hygienic conditions are deplorable

and the water is contaminated here.

So we go to the houses where cases of diarrhea have been reported.

We check the history to find out if it is simple diarrhea or cholera


Half a million cases of acute diarrhea have already been reported, figures that raise fears of the start of a possible cholera epidemic.


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  • Afghanistan

  • Humanitarian

  • Natural disasters

  • UN

  • Health and medicine