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Salahi pledges better management of water

Salahi pledges better management of water

Jan 24, 2015 - 13:10

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): The energy and water minister-designate on Saturday said he would manage Afghanistaninfo-icon’s water resource and enhance focus on electrification schemes.

Eng. Abdur Rahman Salahi, explaining his future plans to the Wolesi Jirgainfo-icon, vowed to construct up to 20 power dams, implement 2,000 irrigation and 200 river embankment projects over the next five years.

If granted a trust vote, Salahi would address the issue of Afghanistan’s unharnessed river water flowing to neighbor countries by resolving disputes over irrigation and improving relevant departments.

He also plans creating a master plan for nationwide water management, launching a variety projects.

Eight million hectares of land in the country can be made arable but due to lack of a proper irrigation system, only two million hectares are under cultivation. He would increase the area under cultivation to 2.8 million hectares.

The projects will generate job opportunities for 700,000 Afghans and give three million people access to clean drinking water.

By exploiting its water, Afghanistan can produce up to 23,000 megawatts of electricity -- solar and wind. He promised to convert the energy-deficient country into a power-exporting nation.

“Power production would be increased from 1,385 to 2,700 megawatts and increase access to electricity from nine percent to 50pc in remote areas,” Salahi continued.

He will also jack up electricity supply to industrial units from 40 percent to 80pc. Completing ongoing projects and cementing cooperation with neighbouring countries are among his primary goals.

Salahi is a son of Abdul Baqi and was born in 1957 in Herat province. He received his master’s degree in road construction from Polytechnic University in Kabul.



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