By: Shukria Kohistani
Following the opening of Kamal Khan dam in Nimroz, Afghanistan National Water Affairs Regulation Authority has informed that construction work on two big dams one in Kabul and the other in Badakhshan will be soon completed and opened. Officials of the respective authority have said that 99 percent of the construction work on the dams has been completed.
“Kamal Khan dam, considered as the biggest achievements for Afghanistan, has been completed and opened. Following opening of the great dam, it is now the turn of Shorabak of Badakhshan and Shah wa Oros dam of Kabul to be opened as 99 percent of construction work of the dams has been completed,
“ said Nizamuddin Khpalwak, a spokesperson to National Water Affairs Regulation Authority.
He said that Badakhshan’s Shorabak dam would cost 45 million euro was funded by Germany, while Kabul’s Shah wa Oros dam would cost $53 million funded by India, adding that it was determined that construction work on 44 other dams would be soon started in the country.
According to officials of the national water affairs regulation authority, Kajaki dam in Helmand, Bakhshabad in Farah, Dahna-e-Dara in Faryab, Pashdan in Herat, Sultan in Ghazni, Shaflugh in Uruzgan, Khanabad in Kunduz, Shah Toot in Kabul, Torai in Zabul and Patlo in Paktia are a range of dams that are set to be constructed by Afghanistan, showing that the government has been now able to control and manage its water. The authority has also declared that construction work on Shah Toot will be soon started in Kabul.
Meanwhile, an Afghan agricultural expert Merwais Khogyani says construction of hydropower dams in Afghanistan will help develop the country’s agriculture sector.
“Afghanistan is an agricultural country whose economy depends on development of the agriculture sector that needs enough water resources; therefore, construction of dams particularly is key and further investment should be made in this sector,” Khogyani said. The national water affairs regulation authority has declared construction work on the respective dams in the country after the opening of Kamal Khan dam. The dam was opened by President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani last week. The government has considered opening of the dam as significant for development of the agriculture sector in Nimroz and controlling Helmand’s water.
Afghan economists and experts believe that Afghanistan has had problem on distribution of the water with neighboring countries particularly Iran and Pakistan for the past few decades. Undoubtedly, it will be a big success for Afghanistan government if it can control and manage the country’s waters in a better way.
Due to continued war and violence as well as political tensions in the country, Afghanistan government has not been able to control and manage its waters in a better way. Both Pakistan and Iran have benefited from Afghanistan waters for years as there has been continued war and insecurity in Afghanistan.
For example, both Iran and Afghanistan have witnessed serious tensions during previous governments, but the situation changed during the National Unity Government as President Ghani opened Herat’s Salma dam and necessary steps have been taken to control and manage the country’s waters.
Based on information of Afghanistan ministry of water and energy, water resources of the country is reaching to 75 billion cubic meter and it is said that 70 percent of the country’s water is used by neighboring countries particularly Pakistan and Iran. Hopefully, Afghanistan will be soon able to manage and control its water resources in a better way in near future.