By: Masouda Qarizada
In circumstances in which Afghanistan is facing with various crisis caused by the continued war in the country, water scarcity is a major challenge for the country’s people. During recent years, a number of mineral water companies have been illegally purifying Kabul waters and deliver to markets.
In an exclusive interview with The Kabul Times correspondent, a spokesperson to National Water Affairs Regulatory Authority Nizamuddin Khapalwak considered drought as a natural phenomenon as Afghanistan has faced with drought in recent years due to lack of rain and snowfalls; therefore, the underground waters has considerably reduced in recent years.
“Afghanistan National Water Affairs Regulatory Authority has codified long, mid and short-term programs to address drought in the country particularly in Kabul, the capital,” Khapalwak said, adding that there are 14 big dams in the country, while there are other 44 small and big dams whose construction work will be started during the current year.
He said that construction work on Dahla dam will be soon started, adding that work on Shahtoot and Lalandar dams were underway.
Pointing to situation of water in Kabul, the NWARA spokesperson said water situation in the capital was getting worse as the underground water was almost finishing.
“We’re now facing with shortage of water across Kabul. To address water scarcity in the capital, work on Shah wa Orus is underway and the project will be soon opened,” Khapalwak said, adding that there are four other projects by completion of which water problem in the city will be addressed.
According to Khapalwak, National Water Affairs Regulatory Authority is determined to survey construction work on 20 more projects until end of the current year.
Criticizing a number of water purification companies in Kabul, the NWARA spokesperson said that a number of big companies were making use of the underground water in a high amount to produce purified water to export it to provinces, while there was no need to export water to other provinces where there were enough water.
He further said that all attention was focussed to maintain water for the people of Kabul as the city with its increasing population was facing with shortage of water. Pointing to the implementation of long, mid and short-term projects to address shortage of water in the country particularly Kabul, the capital, Khapalwak said construction work on Shah wa Orus and Lalandar dams were underway and would be opened in near future, adding that by completion of the projects, nearly 2.2 million of the city population would be benefited.
This comes amid decreasing of the underground water in Kabul city as the majority residents of the city are facing with lack of water.
The people of Kabul are asking the government to address lack of water by implementing a big water-supply system, or continued lack of water will change to a big crisis in coming years.