Need for better water management stressed
Being attended by representatives from Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, India, Bhutan, Nepal, Bangladesh, Pakistan and the Maldives, a 10-day training programme on climate change and water resource management for drought-prone counties began here today.
Addressing the participants, Afghanistan Natural Disaster Management Authority (ANDMA) head Dr. Daim Kakar called climate change a global issue that caused calamities across the world and badly affected the economy.
A comprehensive strategy should be devised for water management to utilise the resource for irrigation, drinking and power generation in Afghanistan, he said. “We’ve enough water resources. Unfortunately, we can’t benefit from the water that flows into Iran and Pakistan.”
Kabul University Chancellor Habibullah Habib said since climate change and drought were increasingly threatening Afghanistan, the government was duty-bound to handle its water distribution systems in a more judicious manner.
Ministry of Water and Energy officials say Afghanistan has 57 billion cubic metres of surface water and 18 billion cubic metres of ground water.
Afghanistan could untilise only 31 percent of its water, while the rest flowed into neighbouring counties, said Sultan Mahmud, water management director general at the ministry.
A feasibility study for 16 big dams, work on small and medium dams in Kabul, Faryab, Paktia, Herat, Helmand and Nimroz and another study for 111 more such facilities are among the priorities of the ministry. But the country needs $30 billion and 25 years to implement the plans.
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