Chilling winters bring new challenges for Afghans, and life continues to go from bad to worse for many families who are unsure about their next meal.
Kubra, an Afghan widow, resides in Bamiyan. All her firewood was stolen when they had fled their home amid the chaos after the Taliban moved towards Kabul in August this year, while the flour she bought months back is going to end in a couple of days.
Kubra says she is not sure how she will get fuel to heat her room in the chilling winter sreason and from where would she get the next meal for herself and her grandchildren.
“We got two sacks of flour last spring, which we’re still using. After that, we have to have faith that God will help us,” said 57-year-old Kubra.
Kubra says she is well aware that no one will offer her or her family a single piece of bread in the coming days, as scarcity of food and water has left every other household at the mercy of God.
Kubra’s dire condition is the same as every other house in Bamiyan and the rest of the country, as severe drought with dried out money inflow has made each day a matter of survival for the locals.
The Taliban takeover of Afghanistan resulted in seizure of all foreign aids, which constituted over 80 per cent of the country’s economy.
With the US and the global community uncertain about trusting the new Taliban regime, coupled with sanctions imposed by the US on various top leaders of the Taliban, foreign aid remains barred for the country, inflicting major crisis of water and food.
As per estimates by the United Nations (UN), about 23 million Afghans are facing extreme levels of hunger, with nearly 9 million at risk of starvation as winter takes hold.
Kubra’s family, like many others in the region, banks on working in farms during spring, earning potatoes as payout for their hard work.
“My son used to collect pieces of scrap metal, but right now he has no work,” she says, sitting at her one-room house, which is not enough to accommodate the whole family.
Massouma, a 26-year-old mother of four, has always had a difficult life with not much option to cook and eat. She would feed her family rice and cooking oil, cooked every day. But now, the same meal is cooked once a week only.
“We never used to have different kinds of food, but in the past it was alright, we had rice and cooking oil. We used to cook once a day and that was good. Now, it’s once a week and sometimes there isn’t even any bread to eat,” said Massouma.
The Taliban say that they are well aware of the current crisis that the people are facing. Their leaders say this current crisis comes partly from the negative impact of at least four decades of war, mismanagement and corruption of the previous government under Ashraf Ghani.