Kunar’s Salar canal being rehabilitated
ASADABAD (Pajhwok): A contract for rehabilitation of an important canal in eastern Kunar province has been inked and the project’s completion would help irrigate thousands of acres of land.
Local officials say the Salar canal which originates in the Paich River provides a critical source of irrigation water to villages in Asadabad and Narang districts.
Kunar’s director of water management, Eng. Rashidullah Zalmai, told Pajhwok Afghan News the Salar canal was fist constructed during King Zahir Shah’s rule and had a 22-km length.
He said the canal with an average width of four metres irrigated 3000 hectors of land, benefitting 25,000 families in Asadabad and Narang districts.
The official said the canal was in a dilapidated condition after floods damaged large portions of it. Zalmai said the canal carried five square metres water to Asadabad’s Nawabad area, but from there it carried one square metre water to other areas and the rest was wasted.
He said the Ministry of Water and Energy had signed a contract for the canal’s rehabilitation. The canal would be concreted for four kilometers from the originating point and portions which had been damaged would be reconstructed.
The Ministry of Water and Energy in a statement said Minister Ali Ahmad Osmani had signed a contract for the Salar canal’s rehabilitation.
The statement said the canal rehab project would help bring under irrigation large swaths of land and improve farmers’ economy.
It said the rehabilitation project would cost $61 million to be provided from the World Bank’s grant.
Mohammad Salim, a resident of Teshi village on the outskirts of Asadabad, said if the canal was properly constructed, it would help prevent water wastage.
A farmer in Narang district, Sarwar Jan, hoped the rehabilitation project would enable the water to reach all areas under the canal.
He said previously millions of afghanis had been spent on the canal, but had no benefit.
Download “Pajhwok” mobile App, on your smartphone to read and access latest news, features, interviews, videos and photos about Afghanistan.