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In Afghanistan, climate change is as big a threat as terrorism

According to a report by the UNEP, the World Food Programme and the National Environmental Protection Agency (NEPA), the biggest climate hazards to Afghan livelihoods are drought and floods, caused by irregular snowmelt or rainfall.

global warming should be taken as seriously as fighting insurgents. “Terrorism is not going to be lingering here for ever,” he says. “But climate change is an ongoing death sentence.”

How climate change is a ‘death sentence’ in Afghanistan’s highlands, Global warming should be taken as seriously as fighting insurgents, say those witnessing the savage impact first-hand, Guardian, Sune Engel Rasmussen , 28 Aug 17 , 

The central highlands of Afghanistan are a world away from the congested chaos of the country’s cities. Hills roll across colossal, uninhabited spaces fringed by snow-flecked mountains, set against blistering blue skies.

In this spectacular, harsh landscape, one can pinpoint more or less where human settlement becomes impossible: at an altitude of 3,000 metres (9,840ft).

This is where Aziza’s family lives, in the village of Borghason. In a good year, they just about survive by cultivating wheat and potatoes for food and a small income. However, when the rains fail, as they increasingly do, the family is plunged into debt, unable to reimburse merchants for that year’s seeds. “Last year, we had to borrow money from the bazaar,” Aziza says.

Things are about to get tougher. The precariousness of life in Bamiyan, one of Afghanistan’s poorest provinces, leaves villages like Borghason at the mercy of climate change.

On a recent visit, the Guardian trekked from freshwater lakes surrounded by jagged massifs at 4,500 metres down to villages at the receiving end of erratic weather, a common result of global warming. Warmer temperatures melt the mountain snow earlier, resulting in an increased flow of water before farmers need it.

These are irregularities that farmers living at the margins of economic sustainability cannot afford. “People are surviving,” says Andrew Scanlon, country director for the UN Environment Programme (UNEP). “[But] their ability to bounce back is almost zilch.”

Farmers say unanimously that temperatures have risen over the past decades. Rain is scarcer and more unpredictable. “People know about climate change even if they don’t call it that,” says Fatima Akbari, the UNEP’s country assistant. “They know all about change in water and weather.”

Despite 15 years as one of the world’s biggest receivers of international aid, much of it to agriculture, Afghanistan remains woefully underdeveloped and largely defenceless against jolts from nature. Western donors primarily poured money into short-sighted programmes such as heavy engineering and cash-for-work schemes, designed for “quick impact”, Scanlon says.

“Soldiers and engineers were on six-month contracts and needed to quickly win hearts and minds,” he adds. Governments and engineers got accustomed to short time frames. Meanwhile, little was done to build long-term resilience. Winning hearts and minds was meant to win the war, yet climate change endangers that elusive victory.

Although research on the topic in Afghanistan is limited to small-scale anthropological analyses, studies from Iraq and elsewhere link global warming and security. According to the UNEP, about 80% of conflicts in Afghanistan are related to resources like land and water – and to food insecurity, an immediate consequence of global warming.

According to a report by the UNEP, the World Food Programme and the National Environmental Protection Agency (NEPA), the biggest climate hazards to Afghan livelihoods are drought and floods, caused by irregular snowmelt or rainfall.

Bamiyan is the epicentre. The mountains in Shah Foladi, one of four recognised national parks, feed both the Kabul basin and the Helmand river, which runs south for 700 miles (1,126km). In Helmand, water has instigated conflict for decades and been central to foreign intervention since the early cold war, when the US got involved in irrigation projects.

Despite fighting a worsening war against insurgents, the Afghan government seems, to an extent, aware of the need to address the risks of global warming. “In the region, Afghanistan is the most vulnerable country facing the ravages of climate change,” says Prince Mostapha Zaher, grandson of the former king Mohammad Zahir Shah and director general of the NEPA…….

Women are particularly affected by erratic weather. In Borghason, when the rains fail, farmers switch crops from barley to wheat, which is less ideal as livestock feed, says Chaman, an older woman in the village. As a result, women – who are tasked with fetching water and tending livestock – have longer distances to hike.

Villages in Bamiyan exemplify how climate change can hamper the ability of families to sustain themselves. According to Prince Zaher, they show why global warming should be taken as seriously as fighting insurgents. “Terrorism is not going to be lingering here for ever,” he says. “But climate change is an ongoing death sentence.” https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/aug/28/how-climate-change-is-death-sentence-afghanistan-highlands-global-warming

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August 28, 2017 Posted by | Afghanistan, climate change | Leave a comment

Afghanistan: information that US military are smuggling uranium out of Afghanistan

US military could be smuggling uranium out of Afghanistan, locals say https://www.timesca.com/index.php/news/18272-us-military-could-be-smuggling-uranium-out-of-afghanistan-locals-say, 30 June 2017 KABUL (TCA) — A member of the Afghan parliament from Helmand Province and local residents have told Russia’s Sputnik Afghanistan news agency that the US military could be smuggling uranium, as well as other rare elements and natural resources, out of the village of Khanashin in the country’s southern province of Helmand.

Helmand is one of the most turbulent provinces in Afghanistan, and is a center of the country’s mining industry and the shadowy drug-smuggling industry. There are four deposits of uranium, magnetite, apatite and carbonite in the south of this region, in the southern village of Khanashin, just 160 km from the border with Pakistan.

According to earlier geological exploration works, the province has lucrative uranium and thorium deposits. It also contains vast resources of tantalum and other rare elements.

According to NASA estimates, there are also deposits of copper, iron and other metals worth of $81.2 billion. Until now, there was no industrial uranium mining in Afghanistan. During Taliban rule, the captives did all the mining.

Deputies of the lower chamber of the country’s parliament from the province of Helmand have repeatedly said that much evidence exists that uranium from Khanashin is being smuggled out in US cargo planes, Sputnik Afghanistan quotes local media reports as saying.

The deputies said that the US military have set up their military base near the uranium mines and smuggle uranium through it.

The deputies said that since the US military intervention back in 2001, the Americans and their British allies have concentrated their bases in this particular province as the largest uranium resources are concentrated there. The uranium deposit in Khanashin was previously controlled by the Taliban. However since the foreign troops set up their air bases and air fields, which are working around the clock, in the neighboring settlement of Garmsi, the deposit has been since controlled by them.

Local residents confirmed to Sputnik Afghanistan that at nights, the US military are smuggling out uranium in trucks and then in cargo planes.

July 1, 2017 Posted by | Afghanistan, politics international, secrets,lies and civil liberties, USA | Leave a comment

For the first time, USA drops largest Non-Nuclear Bomb, in Afghanistan

US Forces Just Dropped Their Largest Non-Nuclear Bomb For The First Time, Gizmodo, Adam Clark Estes Apr 14, 2017,Citing military sources, CNN reports the United States just dropped a 9.14m-long bomb with a blast yield equivalent to 11 tons of TNT on suspected ISIS targets in Afghanistan. Nicknamed MOAB (short for “Mother of All Bombs”), the weapon is the largest non-nuclear bomb in America’s arsenal. This is the first time a MOAB has been used in combat.

Details of the attack remain sparse. According to CNN, the bombing aimed to take out ISIS tunnels in the Achin district of Afghanistan’s Nangarhar province. The network also says that the bomb was dropped from an Air Force Special Operations Command MC-130 aircraft and that the military is “currently assessing the damage.”

What we do know is that the MOAB is an extremely powerful weapon. First developed in the lead up to the 2003 Iraq invasion, the bomb, officially named the GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast, had only been detonated in testing before Thursday’s attack in Afghanistan. However, the MOAB served as a weapon of psychological warfare after it was moved into the theatre back in 2003. The US military also distributed videos of test drops that show how the 9,798kg, GPS-guided bomb can level entire armies. They are indeed scary videos:…….. https://www.gizmodo.com.au/2017/04/us-forces-just-dropped-its-largest-non-nuclear-bomb-for-the-first-time/

April 15, 2017 Posted by | Afghanistan, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

USA used tactical nuclear weapons in Iraq/Afghanistan

just one small group of US Naval vessels dropped here the equivalent of many thousands of Nagasaki bombs…

Did US drop tactical nuclear weapons on Iraq/Afghanistan – You bet!,  Cplash, Peter Eyre19 July 2010 “….. the US , UK , NATO and Israel have been using WMDs on an almost daily basis since the conflict in the Balkans in the 1990s. In fact it started well before this when the Israelis went to war with Egypt … this was the first time WMDs had been used on mass with weapons purchased from the US and with US technicians acting in an advisory role… Continue reading

July 20, 2010 Posted by | Afghanistan, Iraq, weapons and war | , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Photos of infant victims of depleted uranium – Afghanistan

VICTIMS OF URANIUM MUNITIONS USED BY THE US FORCES IN AFGHANISTAN |AajMedia News VICTIMS OF URANIUM MUNITIONS USED BY THE US FORCES IN AFGHANISTAN AajMedia News by Abasin Khan Sharzai   June 13th, 2010 These photos of newly-born infants have been taken by Dr. Mohammad Daud Miraki, a well-known Afghan researcher, anthropologist, sociologist and scholar. He visited Afghanistan to find out about the situation after the American invasion of Afghanistan. The deformed infants are the result of the uranium munitions used by American troops and bomber aircrafts all over Afghanistan Continue reading

June 14, 2010 Posted by | Afghanistan, health | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Infant victims of depleted uranium weapons

VICTIMS OF URANIUM MUNITIONS USED BY THE US FORCES IN AFGHANISTAN: Creative-i /23 March 2010, Warning – Horrific Images aution: The images presented here are so horrific that it had me in tears just dealing with the ‘technics’ of uploading them. As with the Gaza victims file, I have left them off the Home Page. If you wish to view them click on the Continue Reading link. And I urge folks to do something about this, how can we stand aside? It is after all, being done in OUR name….. Continue reading

March 23, 2010 Posted by | Afghanistan, depleted uranium | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Scandalous legacy of depleted uranium

America’s Poison Legacy Pacific Free Press by Dave Lindorff  19 October 2009 Depleted Uranium Weapons:

The Dead Babies in Iraq and Afghanistan Are No Joke The horrors of the US Agent Orange defoliation campaign in Vietnam, about which I wrote on Oct. 15, could ultimately be dwarfed by the horrors caused by the depleted uranium weapons which the US began using in the 1991 Gulf War (300 tons), and which it has used much more extensively–and in more urban, populated areas–in the Iraq War and the now intensifying Afghanistan War. Continue reading

October 21, 2009 Posted by | 1, Afghanistan, Iraq, weapons and war | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Uranium harm in Afghanistan and Iraq ket secret

‘Hush’ over Afghan mission must end
Rainbow Warrior September 20, 2009 Liberal Senator Colin Kenny says politicians are too afraid of offending soldiers and their families by questioning Canada’s role in Afghanistan, but it’s important to have an honest debate about the mission…… Continue reading

September 23, 2009 Posted by | 1, Afghanistan, secrets,lies and civil liberties | , , , , , | 1 Comment