Kajaki Dam Helps Afghanistan’s Economic Growth

Tuesday October 4, 2016

Kabul (BNA) Ministry of Energy and Water signed an agreement with Turkish firm on construction of the second phase of Helmand’s Kajaki dam.
Hinting on importance of the project, its economic growth, employment opportunities and the capacity of generating the electricity, officials of the country’s Ministry of Energy and Water says that the project would help improve economic growth, security as well as the satisfaction of the people over generation of required electricity.
“Kajaki dam currently generates 51 megawatt electricity, that with completion of the second phase, the dam would have the capacity of generating 150 megawatt and would also store around one million cubic meters of water which will be used for irrigation of the agricultural fields,” Minister Osmani said during the signing ceremony. According to the Ministry’s officials, two turbines at the dam were installed until 1954 having the capacity to produce 33 megawatts of electricity and a third turbine having the capacity to produce 18.5MW electricity could not be installed due to the conflict in the country.
Sulaiman, the contracted construction company head, said, “The project besides producing 100MW of additional power through new turbines, which will be installed soon, would also pave the ground for development.” He stated the project in addition to power production would also enable the lands, which were not cultivated so far, to be farmed as well. Homayoon Qayomi, a senior advisor to the president, said, “I am happy seeing this project’s contract of vital importance being signed. The project is not only limited to Helmand and Kandahar but it will benefit all Afghans.” Kajaki dam was built in 1950 by an American company in the Kajaki district of southern Helmand province to control floods, irrigate farmlands, produce electricity and store one billion and 700 million cubic meters water. A number of the Parliamentarians saying that implementation of the project would also improve regional cooperation.
“Considering water resources, Helmand province is one of the key provinces in the country. Investment on such resources would not only bring economic growth, but also improves regional cooperation”, MP Nasima Niazi said, asking government to further pay attention on such resources.
Hinting on importance of implementation of such economic projects, MP Hashimi told that if the government had invested on the country’s water resources in the last fifteen years, the country now would have been self-sufficient on generating of electricity and even could have transit it to the neighboring countries. “I hope the government also pay attention to another provinces and utilize their resources for improving the living condition of the people and economy of the country,” he said. A number of the citizens in their interview expressing satisfaction over National Unity Government’s (NUG) activity, adding that construction of dams can be a good option for controlling the country’s water resources. Chief Researcher Sher Ali Tazri member of the Sciences Academy of Afghanistan said that controlling Afghanistan’s water resources would reduce flow of waters to the neighboring countries, in particular Iran which have been mostly utilizing  the water, and would further pave the way for improving the irrigation systems inside the country.
“Government is obliged to do more for reconstruction of the dams, bridges, railways and other public utilities including hospitals and clinics. There have been much financial supports to Afghanistan in the past one and half decade, but unfortunately there were no eye-catching developments,” he added. Expert on economic affairs and lecturer of Kabul University Saifuddin Saihon told that no doubt infrastructural project would have positive impact on economic developments and boosting regional cooperation. “Kajaki dam would provide employment opportunities for the local people and in long-term would help Afghanistan reach self-sufficiency in term of generating electricity,” Saihoon said, adding that the dam would also ease irrigation to agricultural fields and generation of electricity. Afghanistan has gain much progress in different spheres in the last fifteen years, but proper attentions have not been taken place on utilizing the water resources. It is hoped that using the water resources, Afghanistan reach to self-sufficiency in term of electricity and witness economic developments.
Suraya Raiszada

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