National Water Affairs Regulation Authority (NWARA) put two USAID funded water canals to use in Shulgara district of Balkh province.
Esmatullah, head of North River Basin Department, said they had rehabilitated two water canals under the names “Baghe Pahlawan and Shah Gadai” in Balkh’s Shulgara district. Each of the canals irrigates more than 700 hectares of land, more than 5,000 families have directly benefited from these two canals, and after the construction of the canals, water waste has been prevented, according to him.
Esmatullah expressed concern that more than 400,000 hectares of land in the Balkh river basin should be irrigated, but due to water shortages, more than 40 percent of it remains unirrigated and there is more than two billion cubic meters of water shortage annually.
Meanwhile, Ahmad Wais Basiri, Deputy Director at Technical Department of NWARA, added that in recent years, groundwater levels have been declining due to population growth and climate change.
According to him, water needs to be managed and he asks people to cooperate with them in water management.
Basiri added that among the country’s five river basins, the northern basin is facing water shortages, but efforts are underway to manage water in the region.
On the other hand, a number of Shulgara farmers say that with the construction of retaining walls, their lands have been protected from the risk of floods and their problems have partially been solved, but they are still facing water shortages and their lands are in dire need of water.
Officials in North River Basin Department state that 62 projects worth AFN 3.2billion have been planned in the north this year, most of which have been applied and the rest are being implemented.
Reporter: Mahnaz Mowzon