Temperatures in Afghanistan have dropped well below freezing in the past two weeks. At least 124 people have lost their lives in the country due to heavy snowfall, officials said. BBC news.

About 70,000 cattle have also died in the country during the coldest winter in a decade, said the spokesperson of the state’s disaster management ministry.

Meanwhile, many aid agencies have suspended their operations in recent weeks after the ruling Taliban government banned Afghan women from working in non-governmental organizations. A Taliban minister said the order would not be changed despite the loss of life.

Mullah Mohammad Abbas Akhund, Acting Minister for Disaster Management, told the BBC that many areas of Afghanistan were now completely covered by snow. As a result, many areas remain unconnected. Military helicopters were sent to rescue, but they could not land in the deep mountainous region.

The minister in charge said that the forecast for the next 10 days said that the temperature will be warm. But he was still worried about the increasing number of Afghans and their cattle-deaths.

Molla Akhund said, ‘Most of those who lost their lives due to cold are shepherds or people living in rural areas. They did not have adequate health care. We are concerned about those who are still living in the hilly areas. Most of the roads through the mountains are closed due to snowfall. Cars are stuck there and passengers are dying in freezing temperatures.’

Winters are always harsh in Afghanistan, but this is the worst weather in a decade. This year’s relief efforts are being hampered by a Taliban government order last month barring Afghan women from working in aid agencies.

But Mullah Akhund was clear. This order has not been revoked. He emphasized to the international community that Afghanistan’s Islamic culture must be accepted.

“Men are already working with us in rescue efforts and there is no need for women to work with us,” she told the BBC. The men of every family are already participating in relief operations, so there is no need for women.’

Aid officials, including the United Nations, are urgently trying to find ways to work around the ban.

(January 24)