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World Bank donates $128m for water system reconstruction

By Akhtar M. Nikzad-KABUL: The Afghanistan Reconstruction Trust Fund (ARTF) managed by World Bank granted $128 million to Afghan government for the reconstruction of the Naghlu hydropower dam and water resources management.

Finance Minister Eklili Hakimi, World Bank Country Director for Afghanistan, Robert Saum, Agriculture Minister Asadullah Zamir and Head of Da Afghanistan Breshna Sherkat (power department) Qudratullah Delawari signed the agreement.

Finance minister said that $45 million of the amount would be allocated for development and work of water management projects to improve agricultural products by enhancement of water use through rehabilitation of small scale irrigation schemes.

“$83 million has been allocated for the reconstruction of Naghlu hydropower dam to enhance its capacity from 50MW power to 75MW,” he said.

“Both projects are vital important for economic development and creating job opportunity for people.”

Agriculture minister said that the aid was for four years, including reconstruction of irrigation system, introducing the new irrigational technology to farmers and land leveling for cultivation.

“In the next four years, we would reconstruct around 120 irrigational installations and we will complete 175 others,” he mentioned.

“25,000 hectares of the farmlands would be irrigated by the reconstruction 120 irrigational systems and will prevent 15 per cent of water waste,” he said, adding that the projects would provide 15,000 job opportunities.

Head of Breshna company called the donation important for expansion of domestic hydropower dams.

Afghanistan imports now about 80 per cent of its electricity from the neighboring Central Asian countries, paying millions of dollars annually.

The World Bank director for Afghanistan said that the donation would help ministry of agriculture and Breshna Company to overcome their problems.

The ARTF is a multi-donor trust fund supported by 34 donors and administered by the World Bank. The Government of Afghanistan is a key player in the ARTF – all funds are channeled through government systems with ministries and government agencies responsible for implementing all projects.

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