The Kabul times, Afghanistan Trustable News Agency.

IEA urged to provide farmers with more water for their crops

Farmers in Helmand province say that their farmlands need more water for their crops. Considering the current situation in the country, a number of farmers in the province have asked the Islamic Emirate (IEA) to not go for any discussion about the issue of water rights with Iran. According to the farmers, the whole country, especially Helmand, is facing a severe drought, and leading water to the neighboring country will put the farmers in a difficult situation. It comes as the topic of negotiations between Iranian authorities and the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan about Iran’s water rights from the Helmand River has become one of the key debates in recent days. “Even though Iran wants water from us, Helmand must have it first. We ask our government not to give water to Iran as we need more water for our fields. The province has to be supplied with water since all the gardens, fields, and farmlands in the province remained unirrigated,” said Muhib Rahman, a farmer in Helmand. Mohammad Khawar, another farmer, says that it does not matter whether the water goes to Iran or any other country, but farmlands in Helmand should be irrigated sufficiently. “Currently, we don’t have access to water, and we use water pumps to get water. All the farmlands have got dried,” said Mohammad Negah, another resident of Helmand. However, some water experts have different opinions on Iran’s water rights from the Helmand River. “It is clear that Iran does not want to receive water based on the Helmand River Treaty. Rather, they want Afghanistan’s water to flow to their country uncounted and without measuring as before. Afghanistan has not stored any water in Kamal Khan Dam since the beginning of this year, but the water has always been flowing,” said Najibullah Sadeed, a water expert. “In the current year, the water level in Helmand River has increased, and the water shortage problem in this province will be addressed,” said Mohammad Qasim Riyaz, the deputy director of information and culture in Helmand province. “Farmers were facing water shortage, but by God’s grace, the water level in this province has increased due to the recent rains.” Riaz added. It comes as Iranian media reported that Ali Salajegheh, the Vice President of Iran and head of Iran’s Department of Environment, was expected to travel to Afghanistan, leading a delegation to discuss the Helmand water rights issue. Helmand is one of the agricultural provinces of Afghanistan and the income of its people is dependent on agriculture and livestock. But three successive drought years in the province have caused enormous damage to the people. It is worth mentioning that the people in Helmand province have been complaining about decreasing levels of underground water for the past years, but the recent rains have made the people hopeful. Saida Ahmad

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The Kabul times, Afghanistan Trustable News Agency.