By: Shukria Kohistani
Afghanistan government has taken big steps to manage the country’s water and change this vital wealth to investment. The government has also taken necessary steps towards codification of regulations and policies and technical studies. Besides Afghanistan ministry of water and energy, ministries of rural rehabilitation and development and agriculture, irrigation and livestock have paid continued attention to manage the country’s water in various parts of the country.
In an interview with The Kabul Times correspondent, a spokesperson to National Water Authority Nezam Khepalwak said Afghanistan by having particular topography and different aerography located in locked and partially locked belt is affected from regional and maritime climate.
“Topography or hydro biological feature of Afghanistan consists of five large basins in which the total capacity figures reviewed from 2008 – 2019 for surface and under groundwater called water resources potential is approximately 69 billion cubic meters,” Khpalwak said, adding that 53 billion cubic meters water comes from rivers and surface waters, while 16 billion other comes from undergroundwater which is reservoir.
He further said that fortunately nearly 23 billion cubic meters of waters consisting 33 percent of the country’s water was used in various sectors such as agriculture, reconstruction, greenery and economic development, stressing that planning was underway for the rest 46 billion cubic meters water to control them. Pointing to Afghanistan’s attention to protection of water resources, Khpalwak said a coordinated and realistic plan has been reviewed and prepared in accordance to analysis of all gaps and dimensions, adding that creating of dams, canals, water –sheet management, creating small pools for water reservoir and strengthening under ground water are all part of the plan which would be implemented for protection and management of the country’s water. The spokesperson for National Water Management Authority asserted that the government had vital role as a 5-year plan has been made to control and manage all waters of the country, saying that based on the plan, work on four big zones would be started and 16 programs would be implemented in the country.
Pointing to Afghanistan water policy prepared for neighboring countries, Khpalwak said the country’s policy towards neighboring countries was clear, stressed that based on international laws and principles, Afghanistan should control and manage its waters. He said that Afghanistan government was making effort to manage its all waters by constructing electricity dams in various parts of the country such as work on construction of Shah-wa-Aroos, Kamal Khan, Manogai, Shorabak, Kajaki and other small dams were underway and would be soon completed. The government is also ma king effort to take fundamental steps concerning management of water resources and prevention of problems generated from mismanagement in this area by launching national water resources program intended for constructing of development water reserve dams, nationalizing and reforming of water institutions to rehabilitate diversion structures (head dams) and canals, and strengthening of country’s river banks.