President slams donors’ refusal to fund dams
KABUL (PAN): President Hamid Karzai on Tuesday accused neighbours of illegally using Afghanistan’s water resources, criticising the international community for its refusal to fund dam projects in his energy-deficient country.
While addressing a conference on Afghanistan’s water resource management in Kabul, Karzai said: “We would try to convince them to be content with their own resources.
The neighbours must understand that Afghans also reserved the right exploit its resources for a better and prosperous life, he said, stressing: “Afghanistan must ask for its right.”
He complained the Afghans were denied their right. “We are not being given our water. The Amu River water is not being harnessed,” the president maintained.
Calling water a national and international issue playing a crucial role in climate change that was affecting Afghanistan and many other counties around the world.
Karzai hit out at Western donors for refusing to finance power dams in Afghanistan, which is heavily reliant on electricity imports from Tajikistan, Iran and Turkmenistan.
“The government should have the capacity to utilise its resources by incrementally improving the irrigation system and closely monitoring the use of water in our homes,” Karzai said. “We should not excessively use water, we have to be careful.”
Afghanistan has nearly 57 billion cubic metres of surface water and 18 billion cubic metres of underground water. Only 31 percent of the water is used domestically, with the rest flowing unharnessed into regional countries.
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