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    Nangarhar irrigation canal rehabilitated

    JALALABAD (PAN): A key irrigation canal, Kushkak Canal, was on Tuesday inaugurated after its rehabilitation in eastern Nangarhar province, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) said.

    The ribbon-cutting ceremony was attended by deputy provincial governor Mohammad Hanif Gardiwal, Surkhrod deputy chief Haji Mohammad Ikram, provincial council members, USAID representatives and tribal elders, the agency said in a statement.

    Kushkak Canal flows up to 10 kilometers through six villages and provides irrigation water for 388 hectares of land, benefiting 1,178 farming families in Surkhrod.

    The statement said USAID implemented the project in close coordination with the provincial departments of agriculture, irrigation and livestock, rural rehabilitation and development and the local community.

    The rehabilitation works included the construction of 70 meter-long main wall, 882 meters of side walls, three regulating gates for spillways and 17 dikes in different locations.

    The canal also helps operate two micro hydropower plants and two flour mills that were previously inactive due to insufficient water supply. The hydropower plants now provide electricity to 590 families and to four poultry farms in the area.

    “Before rehabilitation of Kushkak canal, there was not enough water for irrigation. Also, during monsoon season, floods would always damage the canal and cause crops to be parched,” said Jan Mohammad, the head of Planning Department at the Nangarhar Provincial Directorate of Irrigation and Energy.

    He said the rehabilitation project would enable residents to breathe a sigh of relief.

    During the project implementation, some 60 local residents had the opportunity to work on the project, the USAID said, adding more than $185,000 injected into the local economy through daily wages and sourcing of locally available construction material like sand, gravel and stones.