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Drinking water price quadruples in Nimroz

Drinking water price quadruples in Nimroz

Aug 24, 2011 - 16:13

ZARANJ (PANinfo-icon): The price of potable water has quadrupled due to falling Helmand River levels in southwestern Nimroz province, officials said on Wednesday.

Helmand River is a key source of drinking water supply to Zaranj, the provincial capital. The underground water in the city is sour and unfit for drinking.

More than 3,000 tractors bring drinking water from the river and wells to the city for sale.  For the past 10 days, the river has been dry. "It has dried up. We get water from deeper parts of the river in the Shila area, about 12-kilomentre from Zaranj," said a tractor driver.

Ghulam Hazrat added the remaining water would be finished over the next few days. The price of a 7,000-litre water tank had jumped from 300 afghanis to 2,000 afs, he said.

"Tankers are bringing people water from deeper parts of the river, from where animals also drink," resident Gul Ahmad complained.

"People have to buy this water, which is unfit for human consumption." They price of a 20-litre jerry cane has increased from five afs to 20 afs.

With supplies from Kajaki dam in Helmand stopped, there was not water in Nimroz, Irrigation Director Ghulam Mohiuddin said. Private companies had dug up five wells on the outskirts of the city over the past two days, but they cannot meet people's needs.

The only way of resolving the problem is the supply of potable water from an area 27 kilometres off the city, according to Director of Rehabilitation and Rural Development Khalilur Rahman Asad. "A contract has been awarded to a company and the project will be implemented soon."

The project includes 12 tube wells, each producing 20 litres per second and pipelines would be laid at a cost of $24 million, the director concluded.




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