The Kabul times, Afghanistan Trustable News Agency.

Shah Wa Arus Dam: A beacon of progress in Afghanistan’s water management and energy sector

By: Hashmat Nasiri

The Shah Wa Arus Dam is a significant infrastructure project in Afghanistan located in the Shakardara District of Kabul Province. This concrete gravity dam, standing 75 meters tall, primarily aims to provide irrigation, flood control, and a reliable supply of fresh water. It also generates hydroelectric power and supplies drinking water to Kabul’s residents. Construction of the dam began in 2010 and was completed in 2023, costing around $50 million. It features a three-bay spillway 60 meters wide, and the dam’s reservoir can hold over 9 million cubic meters of water. The hydroelectric plant associated with the dam has an installed capacity of 1.2 megawatts (MW), with two turbines each generating 600 kilowatts (KW). Furthermore, the dam is designed to irrigate 2,700 hectares of agricultural land in addition to supplying drinking water for the millions of residents of Kabul. The project faced several delays and challenges, extending its completion timeline. Initially planned for a much shorter duration, construction was impacted by various logistical and political issues. The dam’s completion, however, has been a major milestone for Afghanistan, providing both economic benefits through job creation and infrastructural improvements that are crucial for the region’s de velopment. Overall, the Shah Wa Arus Dam represents a critical step in addressing Afghanistan’s water management needs, supporting agricultural activities, and contributing to the nation’s energy infrastructure. The Shah Wa Arus Dam, is an essential infrastructure project located in the Shakardara District of Kabul Province, Afghanistan. The project, aimed at improving water management and energy production, encompasses several key components and objectives. Key features and benefits 1. Water storage and supply a. The dam’s reservoir can store up to 9 million cubic meters of water. b. It supplies approximately 5 million cubic meters of potable water annually to the residents of Kabul. 2. Irrigation a. The dam is designed to irrigate around 2,700 hectares of agricultural land, significantly enhancing local agricultural productivity. 3. Hydroelectric Power Generation a. The dam includes a hydroelectric power plant with a generation capacity of 1.2 megawatts (MW). It features two turbines, each producing 600 kilowatts (KW). b. The generated electricity will contribute to the local power grid, supporting both residential and industrial needs. 4. Flood Control a. By regulating water flow, the dam plays a crucial role in controlling seasonal floods, protecting downstream communities and infrastructure Construction and challenges The construction of the Shah Wa Arus Dam began in 2010. Despite initial plans for a swift completion, the project faced numerous delays due to logistical, financial, and political challenges. Issues included land acquisition disputes, security concerns, and funding shortages. These delays extended the project’s timeline, with completion achieved in 2023. Economic and social impact The dam’s completion is a significant achievement for Afghanistan, offering multiple economic and social benefits: 1. Job creation: The construction and ongoing maintenance of the dam have created numerous job opportunities, boosting the local economy. 2. Agricultural gevelopment: By providing reliable irrigation, the dam supports increased agricultural production, contributing to food security and local incomes. 3. Energy independence: The hydroelectric power generated by the dam helps reduce Afghanistan’s reliance on imported electricity, promoting energy independence and stability. Future prospects The Shah Wa Arus Dam is part of a broader strategy by the Afghan government and the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan to develop large-scale infrastructure projects aimed at improving water management, agricultural productivity, and energy production across the country. Future projects and improvements are expected to build on the success of the Shah Wa Arus Dam, further enhancing Afghanistan’s infrastructure and economic resilience. The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan has played a pivotal role in the completion and operation of the Shah Wa Arus Dam. This involvement spans several key areas, including project oversight, funding, and prioritization within broader infrastructure development plans. Key roles and actions 1. Project oversight and management: The Islamic Emirate, through the Ministry of Water and Energy, has overseen the final phases of the dam’s construction and the installation of hydroelectric equipment. High-ranking officials, including Mujibur Rahman Omar Akhundzada, the Deputy Minister of Water, have been directly involved in inaugurating and managing the project’s milestones. 2. Funding and resources allocation: The government under the Islamic Emirate allocated necessary funds and resources to ensure the project’s completion. This includes addressing issues related to land acquisition and compensations to affected local residents, which were crucial for advancing the project without significant local resistance. 3. Infrastructure prioritization: The Shah Wa Arus Dam has been part of a broader strategic initiative by the Islamic Emirate to prioritize large-scale infrastructure projects. This initiative aims to enhance Afghanistan’s water management, agricultural productivity, and energy independence. The government has highlighted the dam as a significant achievement within its development agenda, underscoring its commitment to improving national infrastructure. 4. Operational management and future plans: Following the dam’s completion, the Islamic Emirate has focused on operationalizing the dam’s facilities, ensuring the smooth generation of electricity and distribution of water for both agricultural and potable purposes. Additionally, there are plans to initiate similar projects to further bolster the country’s infrastructure capabilities. Broader impact The involvement of the Islamic Emirate in the Shah Wa Arus Dam project is a part of their larger strategy to utilize Afghanistan’s natural resources effectively and improve the living standards of its population. By focusing on such infrastructural projects, the Islamic Emirate aims to promote economic development, reduce reliance on foreign resources, and address critical issues like water scarcity and energy shortages. In summary, the Shah Wa Arus Dam stands as a cornerstone of Afghanistan’s efforts to harness its natural resources for sustainable development, providing critical infrastructure that benefits multiple sectors. The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan has been instrumental in the completion and operationalization of the Shah Wa Arus Dam, highlighting its focus on infrastructure development as a means to drive economic growth and stability in the region.

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The Kabul times, Afghanistan Trustable News Agency.