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‘Extra water maybe released from filled Dahla Dam soon’

‘Extra water maybe released from filled Dahla Dam soon’

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Mar 09, 2019 - 20:05

KANDAHAR CITY (Pajhwok): Recent heavy rains have 98 percent filled up the Dahla dam in southern Kandahar province and it seems the dam’s spillway would be opened to flush out excessive water over the next one week.

The dam, the second largest in Afghanistaninfo-icon, is located in Shah Walikot district of Kandahar and is the primary source of irrigation in six districts – Arghandab, Zheri, Panjwai, Maiwand, Dand and Daman.

The authorities are talking about flushing out the excessive water from Dahla dam at a time when 80 percent crops were affected by drought in the province last year, causing huge losses to farmers.

Happy over the increase of water level in the dam, farmers and orchard owners in Kandahar say the government should launch work on raising the dam’s height as soon as possible.

Arghandab Valley Authority head Tooryalai Mehboob told Pajhwok Afghan News that the water level in Dahla dam was increasing with each passing day due to recent rains in southern parts of the country and snowfalls in central provinces.

He said currently the dam was filled up by 98 percent and would be completely filled over the next one week and the excessive water would be released.

He said the extra water would be released until initial days of the new solar yearinfo-icon, which begins on March 22, and there would be no need to release the stored water.

“This way, we would have water for irrigation for several months while previously the water flow could not be continued for six months during the years-long dry spell.”

He said further rains in coming days would melt snow on mountains, which could cause flooding and they had cautioned people and construction companies near the Arghandab river and Zahir Shahi Canal to be careful.

Recent rains and subsequent flooding killed and wounded nearly 95 people in Kandahar, damaged about 5000 homes and inundated hundreds of acres of arable land.

Kandahar agricultureinfo-icon director Syed Hafizullah Syedi said so far 220mm rains had been recorded in the province and more rains were expected.

He said the floods played havoc with people’s lives and properties, but they reduced the threat of drought.

A farmer in Daman district, Juma Gul, said nearly all farming land in the district was depended on water from Dahla Dam. He said the dam lacked water last year due to lack of rains.

“Last year, there was acute shortage of irrigation water, which resulted in financial losses to people,” he said.

Gul said farmers would not have irrigation water for the entire year until walls of Dahla dams were raised.

Orchard owner in Arghandab district, Faiz Mohammad, said farmers and orchard owners in seven districts of Kandahar each year incurred losses due to lack of water in the Dahla dam.

He said people were expecting that the government would raise the dam’s walls by eight meters.

In this regard, Toryali Mehbood said that Dahla dam storage capacity was 500 MCM, but siltation had reduced this capacity 300MCM.

He said the dam not only needed desiltation works but its height should also be increased in order to store enough water for irrigation.

He said preliminary study of the de-siltation work and raising the dam’s walls had been completed and practical work in this regard was expected to be launched soon.

The spokesman for Kandahar governor, Aziz Ahmad Azizi, told Pajhwok that $470 million would be spent on raising the dam’s walls, increasing storage capacity, dispatching clean water to Kandahar City and producing 24 megawatts of electricity.

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