Textile factory, houses hit by flooding
PUL-I-KHUMRI (Pajhwok): Heavy inflows broke a spillway of a local dam and damaged a textile factory and several homes in Pul-i-Khumri, the capital of Baghlan province.
As the Baghlan River burst its banks, heavy inflows led to the dam’s breach on Tuesday night following heavy rains. The hydropower dam supplies electricity to the textile factory.
The factory’s director Eng Abdul Qadir told Pajhwok Afghan News that cracks had appeared in the dam’s second gate, which could collapse if the water level further rose.
If it happened, he feared the power supply to the factory would be cut off and a large number of residential buildings and farmland would be destroyed.
The four-gate dam was constructed by Germany in 1942, but since then no repair works have been carried out. Four turbines installed on the dam generate 4.5 megawatt of power.
Fifty percent of the power is supplied to the textile factory and the remaining to 1,500 families in Pul-i-Khumri.
Deputy Governor Abdul Qayum Niazi said they had shared the problems in the Nasaji dam with the Water and Energy Ministry two years ago, but nothing had happened.
He said Germany had promised reconstructing the dam’s damaged parts at a cost of $37 million, but the reconstruction work was yet to be launched.
Deputy Water and Energy Minister Ghulam Farooq Qazizada had previously told Pajhwok Afghan News that the ministry was aware of the problems in the Nasaji dam and was trying to resolve them.
He had said the dam’s reconstruction plan had already been finalised and would be launched soon.
Six residential buildings were destroyed and more than 60 others partially damaged in Pul-I-Khumri after the Baghlan River burst its banks.
One of the affected persons, Seema, said four rooms of her house were damaged and neighbours helped her take out household belongings.
The mother of three children asked the government to strengthen the river’s banks and provide shelter to those affected.
Another affected person, Mohammad Asghar, said he measured the water entering his home at 150 centimeters deep, damaging his property.
“Currently we live along with tens of other affected families on the river’s beach amid many problems,” he added.
Afghanistan National Disaster Management Authority (ANDMA) official in Balghlan Ahmad Nasir Kahzad said some food items had been distributed to the affected families and clothing and carpets would be distributed soon.
He said many people got affected and several acres of farmland were destroyed each year because the Baghlan River’s banks could not be strengthened over the past four years.
But Baghlan Water Management Director Naeem Nawabi said they had embanked 800 meters of the riversides to keep nearby houses from being flooded.
He said the river’s banks needed to be strengthened up to two kilometers to protect the families living near it, but they lacked budget to do so.
The Ministry of Water and Energy had promised to set aside budget for the river’s embankment, he said.
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