On the occasion of Afghanistan’s national water day, March 24, President Ghani inaugurated Kamal Khan Dam in the southwestern Nimroz province. A high-level presidential official including the First Vice President Amrullah Saleh and the Second Vice President Sarwar Danish attended the ceremony.
As an effort for water management, Kamal Khan Dam was first designed to be built in 1970 under the presidency of Sardar Daud Khan but the subsequent Soviet occupation of Afghanistan and the civil war congested the construction of this dam.
Under President Karzai, for the first time after nearly 35 years, the construction of Kamal Khan Dam was resumed and its first construction phase was completed in July 2012. Its second construction phase was completed in September 2015. The third and final phase of its construction started in March 2017, with an estimated cost of USD 38 million.
The Dam started to store water on January 20 with a capacity of storing 52 million cubic meters. It can provide irrigation water for around 174 hectares of farmland and it has the capacity of producing nine-megawatt electricity.
Over the past years, Kamal Khan Dam came under sporadic Taliban attacks. A figure revealed by the Administrative Office of the President says that the Dam has been attacked 35 times over the past two years, inter alia 16 times by heavy artillery shelling.
As many as 39 Afghan security forces, who were assigned to guard the dam and its construction workers, were killed or wounded. Moreover, the Taliban have taken 28 construction workers and the Dam’s guardians as hostages.
On the other hand, the office of Herat governor has said in a statement issued today, March 24, that 85 percent of Pashdan Dam’s construction has been completed in Herat province.
A total of USD 117 million has been allocated for the construction of this dam which is supposed to be completed by the end of this year, 2021. The dam has a capacity of irrigating 13 hectares of farmland and producing two-megawatt electricity.
Water storage at the dam is supposed to be kicked off three months later.
President Ghani has reiterated on water management of Afghanistan and described the water streams as the “dignity” of Afghanistan that needs to be brought under management.