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Paktia residents worried after water wells run dry

Paktia residents worried after water wells run dry

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Aug 21, 2018 - 15:10

GARDEZ (Pajhwok): Water wells in various parts of southeastern Paktia province have dried up after what local residents say the underground water level lowered amid dry conditions.

The residents said the wells ran dry as a result of little raining this year. They ask the authorities concerned to take steps for resolving the water scarcity issue.

Nimatullah, a resident of Zurmat district, told Pajhwok Afghan News that he collected a reduced wheat harvest this year due to the lack of irrigation water.

He said the agricultureinfo-icon produce declined by a half this year as compared to last year’s yield. He said the situation had increased joblessness and had resulted in acute shortage of drinking and irrigation waters.

Izzatullah Hamdard, who lives in capital city Gardez, said wells in seven homes of his neighbors had gone dry. He urged people to reduce the use of water keeping in mid those facing a shortage.

Rassoul Khan, who owns a bore-well digging shop in Gardez, said many people daily came to him, asking for a new deep well to replace the one dried up.

However, he said a customer had to wait for two to three weeks to find his turn due to the rush. “Previously we would dig the soil 20 meters deep to find water, but now we have to dig 30 to 35 meters deep.”

Khan said about a dozen people daily called him over the phone saying their wells had dried up and they want new deep wells.

On the other hand, Agriculture and Irrigation director Walid Ahmad termed the water scarcity issue in Paktia as “serious.”  He said the situation had affected the yield of all crops.

The official said the underground water table had lowered 25 to 40 meters in some areas. He also schooled farmers on watering their wheat crop, saying wheat did not need water like rice.

About the issue, Paktia environmental protection director Yahya Ghaforzai said the underground water plummeted due to lack of enough raining this year. He said large deep wells used for irrigation purposes also contributed to the water scarcity.

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