Amu River swallows more farmland in north
TALOQAN (Pajhwok): Families living along the Afghan side of Amu River in northern Takhar, Kunduz and Badakhshan provinces say their hundreds of acres of land, homes and orchards were recently destroyed by a flooded Amu Darya.
The river flows for more than 2,400 km and forms most of Afghanistan’s northern border with Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.
A resident of Darqad district in Takhar, Malik Khan, told Pajhwok Afghan News his 10 acres of land, orchard and a home had been washed away by the river water during the past three years.
“All homes, arable land and orchards along the river have been demolished and the river’s water is heading towards the city. The water has ruined everything and the government didn’t carry out any pre-emptive measures to prevent the damage.”
Meanwhile, a resident of Khwaja Ghar district of the province, Ahmad Musilm, said agriculture lands in their district had been swept away by Amu water. He asked the government to take measures at preventing the massive annual erosion.
Meanwhile, 5th water district head in Takhar, Eng. Rahmatullah Safi, confirmed to Pajhwok that the Amu water had washed away thousands of acres of farming land, orchards and homes in the province.
He said the Amu River flowed for 120km in Takhar but they had been able only to construct 5.6km retaining walls along the river.
Abdul Hakim, a resident of Badakhshan province, said the river had swept away farmland measuring thousands of square kilometers, homes and orchards.
He said thousands of acres of more land, homes and orchards were at risk of being washed away.
“The rise in water level and destruction occurs when Tajikistan closes its side and all the water is unleashed on us, causing huge destruction. Some families were obliged to leave the area.”
The 5th Badakhshan water district head, Abdul Baseer Qanit, said the Amu River in Shaghnan, Shakasham, Darwaz and some other districts had inflicted financial losses on people and caused damage to forests, farmland and orchards.
The river forms a 850km border with Tajikistan in Badakhshan from Wakhan to Shahr-e-Buzarg area, he said, adding the Ministry of Water and Energy was only able to establish a nine-kilometer embankments along the river.
“Averagely building a kilometer of embankment costs one million US dollars. Despite a lack of resources, we should try our best to protect the land from being destroyed.”
A Kunduz resident also complained about the issue and said agriculture land in Imam Sahib, Qala-i-Zal and many other districts had been washed away by the river.
The Amu River originates from Pamir Mountains series and has a total 1126km length inside Afghanistan.
According to the Ministry of Water and Energy, surveys show permanent embankments along the worst parts of the river needs $40 billion.
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