iMMAP Enhancing Emergency Response Operations in Panjshir, Afghanistan

How Improved Data Leads to Better Humanitarian Coordination and Better Assistance

The Afghan Government has expressed their gratitude for our contribution, confirming that iMMAP is making a measurable difference in improving emergency operations in Afghanistan.Dr. Andrea Porro

As part of the Afghanistan, USAID OFDA-funded disaster risk reduction (DRR) program, iMMAP is supporting the Government of Afghanistan through the provision of critical, technical information that enables life-saving emergency interventions in different provinces exposed to high-risk natural hazards.

On July 11, a landslide struck hard-to-reach villages in Ghozo and Pishghor, both located in Panjshir province. Panjshir is a remote and impoverished area, mainly inhabited by small-scale-farming communities, who work on the river banks or in the mountains.

As there was very little ground information available following the natural event and the early estimations on the potential damage alarmingly fluctuated, a request from the World Food Program (WFP) Vulnerability Analysis Monitoring Unit, in support of the Afghanistan National Disaster Management Authority (ANDMA), was sent to iMMAP to provide data and precise information on the potential damage and affected population in the area.

Through iMMAP’s Afghanistan Spatial Data Center, population, villages, airports, and health facilities in Afghanistan are easily identified, helping iMMAP team narrow down locations in a 3x3 km² area.

After identifying the area affected, flood-risk zones and various landslide risk categories were examined to evaluate the potential number of population and infrastructure damaged. iMMAP analysis estimated 80 households destroyed and 790 people affected, which differed from the initial reports of 400 households damaged.

Further support to the response included a wide range of maps immediately following the event. We provided WFP and ANDMA with high-quality A1 district maps and detailed fully automated ASDC large scale A1-A4 settlement area maps.

Moreover, as part of the information management support to the emergency response team, iMMAP provided data on the nearest medical facilities and airports, weather conditions, and the areas with GSM mobile coverage. This information may potentially save lives in case of emergency evacuation of injured people.

Approximately 3000 people whose livelihood rely on the cultivated land required support, as well as the inhabitants of the estimated 80 houses destroyed. In that context, iMMAP contributed to making the coordination efforts and response operations more cost-effective. The Afghan Government has expressed their gratitude for our contribution, confirming that iMMAP is making a measurable difference in improving emergency operations in Afghanistan.

In appreciation of the support provided by iMMAP to the province, Panjshir Governor, Eng. Kamalludin Nezami, invited iMMAP Afghanistan Country Representative, Dr. Andrea Porro to visit Panjshir.

During the visit, Dr. Porro reiterated iMMAP´s commitment to providing the necessary information management support and capacity-building to the Afghan Government in their efforts towards implementing international policy on Disaster Risk Reduction, such as the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction.

Governor Nezami expressed his appreciation to iMMAP for the continuous efforts in supporting ANDMA, and he shared some positive remarks on the operational efficacy of iMMAP´s geospatial portal on Afghanistan, the Afghanistan Spatial Data Center.

During the meeting, both parties established the roadmap for future collaborations between iMMAP and ANDMA office in Panjshir. As most provinces in Afghanistan, Panjhir suffers from multiple natural disasters every year, which severely damage infrastructure, livelihoods and food stocks.

Within the next months, iMMAP will assist Panjshir province through monitoring the dynamics of the glacier in the region, generating and analyzing data on the land erosion occurred due to floods and river seasonality, and supporting the field teams in collecting, analyzing and visualizing food-security data.

As part of the USAID OFDA-funded DRR program, iMMAP Afghanistan will continue efforts to assist humanitarian and development stakeholders in the country (UN agencies, NGOs, and Government) for better humanitarian coordination, and the implementation of data-led, evidence-based emergency response operations, aimed at improving the quality of the assistance provided to the population of Afghanistan, one of the world´s most vulnerable countries to climate change.