March 1, 2012 - On the tail end of the worst winter Kabul, Afghanistan, has seen in nearly two decades as well as the heaviest snow accumulation in the past 15 years, the Skateistan facility in Kabul suffered a partial roof collapse under the weight and pressure of the densely compacted snow.
This occurred last week, after the skatepark was closed. No students, staff or management were present inside the skatepark at the time, resulting in no injuries. However, the facility is now in need of structural repairs as well as some potential replacement of skateboard ramps and equipment. Unfortunately since ongoing demonstrations and insecurity in Kabul coincided with the days following the incident, Skateistan was unable to immediately begin the cleanup and repair, but will begin Saturday, March 3, as long as the security situation allows.
The safety of Skateistan’s students and staff has always been the foremost priority in our operations. The Skateistan management team as well as the engineering assessment team have begun assessing the incident and are vested in ensuring this type of natural occurrence is avoided in the future. In the meantime, Skateistan will be working to keep our activities going in some capacity around the city until repairs are completed and all safety concerns are addressed before we reopen the main facility to students and staff again.
Although we have experienced a major setback, we know that our team is capable of seeing the repair process through – for Skateistan this is one more challenge in a long line of challenges faced during our work in Afghanistan. Skateistan will not be deterred by the freezing weather and has support from all our partners on the ground here in providing assistance however they can.
Now more than ever we need the continued support of our contributors worldwide. Skateistan has become a major safe-haven for the children of Kabul, especially during this harshest of winters. Many of these children have nowhere else to go to escape the unforgiving realities of Kabul, and it's vital that we continue to provide these youth with a place for solace, creative expression, and fun. We will be giving our all to ensure that the children continue to have such a place where they can feel safe. Your continued support throughout this repair process is greatly welcomed.
- The Skateistan Team