Afghanistan finally gets the Kamal Khan Dam, to provide much-needed water to Nimroz

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani inaugurated Kamal Khan Dam in the western province of Nimroz, the dam with a capacity of 53 million cubic metres will irrigate 1,74,000 hectares of land in three districts of the country

Mar 25, 2021
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Afghan President Ashraf Ghani inaugurated Kamal Khan Dam in the western province of Nimroz, the dam with a capacity of 53 million cubic metres will irrigate 1,74,000 hectares of land in three districts of the country. 

According to a report on TOLOnews, the dam will generate around 9 megawatts of electricity in its first phase and would also supply the drinking water to the provincial capital. For years, people in the region failed to tap their share of water from the Helmand river, which went to Iran. 

During the inauguration ceremony on Wednesday, Ghani, wearing traditional Baloch attire, was accompanied by his deputies, Amruallah Saleh and Sarwar Danish.  

Conceived in 1974 during the reign of Daud Khan, the dam was supposed to bring change in the lives of million people then, but the 47-year-long delay in the construction became the testimony of what went wrong with the country. 

In 1978, the country saw its first bloody coup by communists; all the construction material of the dam, including 20 thousand cement bags and tonnes of steel, were looted by insurgents;  the country then descended into a political turmoil that would become one of the longest conflicts.

Apart from the war, external factors also deliberately undermined any progress in the project. Iran, the western neighbor of Afghanistan, has long remained beneficiary of Afghanistan’s untapped water as the country lacked the water storage infrastructure in the western part of the country. 

Reports also suggested how Iran occasionally objected and even attempted delaying any water projects in the country’s western rivers. 

In 2017, Ghani started the construction of the last, and the third phase of the dam. It took around four years to complete it. Apart from it, the government is also undertaking several irrigation projects that would greatly benefit the farmers of Nimroz. 

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