By: Masouda Qarizada
All Afghans have welcomed opening of Kamal Khan dam in Nimroz. Last Wednesday, President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani and his vice presidents Amrullah Saleh and Sarwar Danesh opened the dam in the province.
In opening ceremony of the dam, President Ghani congratulated opening the dam to all Afghans particularly the people of Nimroz. “We will honor our commitments. However, anything beyond the stipulated quota would require discussions,” President Ghani said.
“If you give us oil you can then ask for (more) water, or give us something in return,” President Ghani said. He insisted that from now on, Afghanistan “will not give free of charge water to anyone.”
The new dam, constructed at an estimated cost of $110 million, is located in the Chahar Borjak district of Nimroz on the Iranian border.
The construction of the dam started about five decades ago but the outbreak of the Afghan factional conflict in the mid 1970s and subsequent military invasion of the country by the then Soviet Union halted the project until 2011, when it took off again.
Afghan officials said Wednesday the dam, with a capacity to store 52 million cubic meters water, will irrigate 174,000 hectares of agricultural land and generate about nine megawatts of electricity.
The dam was supposed to be opened on World Water Day held annually on 22 March as a means of focusing attention on the importance of freshwater and advocating for the sustainable management of freshwater resources.
This Day is an opportunity to learn more about water related issues, be inspired to tell others and take action to make a difference. Water is an essential building block of life. It is more than just essential to quench thirst or protect health; water is vital for creating jobs and supporting economic, social, and human development.
The World Water Day celebrates water and raises awareness of the global water crisis, and a core focus of the observance is to support the achievement of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 6: water and sanitation for all by 2030.
The theme of World Water Day 2021 is valuing water. The value of water is about much more than its price – water has enormous and complex value for our households, food, culture, health, education, economics and the integrity of our natural environment. If we overlook any of these values, we risk mismanaging this finite, irreplaceable resource. SDG 6 is to ensure water and sanitation for all. Without a comprehensive understanding of water’s true, multidimensional value, we will be unable to safeguard this critical resource for the benefit of everyone.
On the day itself, the United Nations World Water Development Report is also released, focusing on the same topic as the campaign and recommending policy direction to decision makers.