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Kabul at the eve of drying up

AT News Report

KABUL: Residents of northern parts of Kabul city whose houses have been built in higher lands than the other parts of the capital, are severely suffering shortage of water. They say they have to walk long distances in search of potable water in the Khwaja Boghra neighborhood, Police District 15.

Mohammad Salim is one of those who have to spend hours to find water. “The water condition is good during the winter, but the surface of water goes down in spring and summer and we face a serious problem of life. Our deep wells are drying up and we get a little water after hard working and spending time,” Salim said.

People in the Bibi Mahroo neighborhood also a higher area in the eastern part of the city and near the Kabul International Airport, are facing the similar problem. They say that shortage of water and polluted water made them to buy their drinkable water.

“I live in Bibi Mahroo area Police District 10. We need to spend 50 Afs per day to buy potable water because the wells have dried up or some of the wells have polluted water. We also bring water from farther areas,” said Noor Agha, a resident of the neighborhood.

The ministry of energy and water admits water problem in the capital, saying that the surf of water reserves has extremely decreased.

The ministry says water surface in four water regions (KhairKhana, Afshar, Alauddin and Logar) has gone down 30 to 60 meters.

Jamal NaserShakoori, head of the ministry’s hydro biologic department, said Tuesday that the main reason of water problem was frequent drought in Kabul. He called misuse of water, increasing population in the capital and decrease in water absorbing areas as the other elements of this problem.

“Building of ponds along the Kabul River is another reason that wastes water and causes delay in water flowing. Injecting of synthetic water is the second reason that causes drying up of the water surface,” Shakoori said.

NawidSaeedi, spokesman of water supply and canalization organization, said 13 out of 23 deep wells they had dug in Afshar and Alauddin areas, have dried up.

There were many snowfalls in Kabul last winter that people thought could help the end of water problem, but government officials say several-year drought caused the earth thirsty and the last year’s snow was absorbed to the lowest levels of the earth.

Irregular wells, use of water by hundreds of mineral water companies and lack of government control on water reserves have caused water problem in Kabul city that was rich of underground water resources until the end of 1980s and the beginning of 1990s.

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