One day in mid-July, Nazim brought a truckload of clothes and food to his home in Barsem, a village in the Pamir Mountains of east Tajikistan, in preparation for his wedding later in the summer.
The following afternoon, on July 16, a flash flood sent mud and debris tearing through Barsem, carrying away Nazim’s home along with those of around 80 other families.
“We sent a whole Kamaz [truck] full of things for the wedding. We even had some money there,” said Nazim, lying on his side on the floor of a tent in a camp created to house former residents of Barsem. “Everything was washed away.”
Extensive flooding across Tajikistan this summer has highlighted a need to implement measures that can better protect at-risk communities. Many mountain villages are ill-equipped to deal with the climate chaos that scientists believe is awaiting as temperatures rise and glaciers in Central Asia melt.
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