In the five months leading up to March 2022, there were nearly 450 recorded avalanches in three of the countries in which AKDN works. In the mountainous regions of Afghanistan, Pakistan and Tajikistan, these avalanches not only threaten lives, but also destroy homes and livelihoods, blocking access to remote villages and cutting off supplies.
Here the Aga Khan Agency for Habitat (AKAH) has established a community avalanche education programme, and comprehensive hazard assessment and monitoring systems. While 98 percent of the avalanches occurred in the areas where it works, the efforts of AKAH and the communities with which it works meant that these were only responsible for 13 percent of the fatalities. But avalanches are difficult to predict, especially in areas without Internet connections or financial resources to use new technologies. As rising temperatures and increased rain intensify the problem, better forecasting tools are needed.