Herat canals damaged by floods, dam construction halted

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Many canals connected to the Pashdan dam in Herat have been damaged by flooding, said a local official.

Officials also said a halt in the dam’s construction will cause a loss of jobs for more than 1,000 workers.

The reason for stopping the construction is said to be a lack of budget.

More than 80 percent of construction on the dam is completed. However, according to officials, due to the recent floods, many parts of the dam have been damaged.

“The canal and a wall of the dam have been damaged. If the project does not resume, there will be more damages,” said Abdul Sabor Nadiri, an official of the Pashdan governmental project.

Before the collapse of the former government, more than 1,300 workers were working on the construction of the dam.

“It has been 10 months since the Pashdan project has been stopped,” said Da ud, a labourer.

“We call on the Islamic Emirate to resume the project as soon as possible so workers can return to their labor,” said Habibullah, a labor.

Meanwhile, farmers complained about lack of sufficient water for irrigation and called for the completion of the construction of the dam.

“Our crops have been affected due to lack of sufficient water. If the project is resumed, our crops will be better,” said Haleem, a farmer.

Local officials said the government has prioritized the Pashdan Dam in this year’s development budget.

“There are hopes that the rebuilding of the Pashdan Dam has been prioritized,” said Sardar Wali Muzmal, an engineer in Herat.

Construction on the Pashdan Dam in Herat province resumed several year ago, but the project has yet to be completed. The dam is Located in Karokh district, 25 kilometers to the northwest of Herat City.

Officials from the Islamic Emirate said work continues on Kajaki dam to increase its hydropower production capacity.

The Kajaki Dam is on the Helmand River, 160 km from Kandahar. It provides electricity to the area and also is used to irrigate farmland.

Currently, it produces 51-megawatts of electricity. Officials said it has decided to increase the capacity of the dam to produce up to 150-megawatts. By the new solar year the dam will have the capacity to produce 150-megawatts, officials said.

“Based on our information, work on the Kajaki dam has been 90 percent completed and we hope it finishes soon,” deputy spokesman of the Islamic Emirate Bilal Karimi said.

Meanwhile, a number of residents of Kandahar province welcomed the move and urged the Islamic Emirate to provide them with more sustainable electricity.

“This will be very good for Kandahar and Helmand provinces because these provinces have less electricity,” said Shamsullah Omari, a resident of Kandahar.

Amanullah Ghalib, the former chairman of Da Afghanistan Breshna Sherkat, said increasing the capacity of Kajaki Dam will decrease electricity shortage in the southern provinces. “The current power line from Kajaki dam to Kandahar has a very limited capacity, its capacity should be increased so the southern provinces can benefit from electricity,” he said.

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