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Kandahar’s Dahla Dam expansion project to begin soon

01 May 2019 Pajhwok Afghan News

KANDAHAR CITY (Pajhwok): Local officials say survey, design and land acquisition for Dahla Dam’s expansion – the second largest in Afghanistan – in southern Kandahar province have been completed and practical work on the project would begin soon.

Dahla Dam irrigates seven districts of Kandahar province including Shah Wali Kot, Arghandab, Zheri, Panjwai, Maiwand, Dand and Daman.

Government officials had long promised to raise the dam’s walls by several meters and local people have been awaiting prompt implementation of the project since years.

The dam, 40 kilometres north of Kandahar City, the provincial capital, was first built 70 years ago during the reign of Zahir Shah, the last king of Afghanistan, with financial support from the United States.

Eng. Toryalai Mahbobi, Kandahar basin chief, told Pajhwok Afghan News that the survey, design and land acquisition for the dam’s expansion had been completed and practical work on the project would begin in near future.

He said Dahla Dam’s reconstruction was divided into four parts including heightening its walls, modernizing irrigation canals, building water supply network for Kandahar city and production of 24 megawatts of electricity.

He said the walls of Dahla Dam would be raised by 12 meters which would help the dam store more water.

The dam when first built around 70 years ago had the capacity to store 500 million cubic meters water but siltation reduced its storing capacity by 43 percent to around 290 million cubic meters water, he said.

Mahbobi, however, said Dahla Dam would be expanded to store 950 million cubic meters water after its walls were raised and would meet the irrigation needs of farmers and gardeners of the province.

He said the current year was full of rainfalls but the dam could not store more water due to its limited capacity and a high amount of water was missed from being reserved.

He said working on big projects needed more time and people had to wait for their competition. Dahla Dam reconstruction would take around five years to complete.

Few days back, Eng. Hamidullah Yalani, Afghanistan Urban Water Supply Canalization director, during a trip to Kandahar city had said that building a big potable water supply network in Kandahar city was in the pipeline.

He had said the network would cost around $200 million which would be donated by the World Bank and the project would help Kandahar city residents find access to drinking water in their own homes.

Few years back, initial repairs of Dahla Dam, including installation of small and big gates, replacement of water valves, tunnel, canals and providing related machineries were completed at a cost of $71 million assisted by the US.

mds/ma

Original Link: https://www.pajhwok.com/en/2019/05/01/kandahar%E2%80%99s-dahla-dam-expansion-project-begin-soon

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