By Saifullah Ahmadzai
On 16/Mar/2021, Mahmood Tarzi Think Tank of the Regional Studies Center, Academy of Sciences of Afghanistan held a scientific gathering titled “The Role of Kamal Khan Dam in Economic Development of Afghanistan”. Mr. Shoaib Rahim (lecturer and writer), Mr. Mohammad Dawood Mohammadi (acting director of Mohammad Tarzi Foundation) and Mohammad Arif Mirkhil were the presenters.
At the beginning of the session Zuhra Mohammadzai academic member of the Regional Studies Center welcomed the audience and introduced the presenters and topic of the conference. She added, Mahmood Tarzi think tank’s goal is to invite prominent scholars for delivering presentation on important national and regional political, economic and social topics and share information with scientific community, government and public. For further discussion, she asked presenters to carry forward the program.
Mr. Rahim started the discussion with importance of water management and then he elaborated the importance of Kamal Khan Dam from various prospective. He debated Kamal Khan is going to play critical role in in improving the irrigation system, prevention floods, agriculture and help formers. Moreover, he said building of this and other similar dams will provide job opportunities and source will be of income for poor people living in the rural areas, so this will play positive role in the economic development and will reduce burden on cities to control environmental pollution.
Further, he added if we manage the natural resources properly it will open the window of opportunities and prosperities, but if not managed in right manner then will be source of many challenges and threats such as fighting & insecurity. So in order manage water in required manner and solve problems over water with neighbors in the light of international laws and regulations the Academy of Sciences of Afghanistan, other research centers, private and public universities have to conduct research on various dimension of this topic and publish it in the international journals to strengthen Afghanistan’s position.
Mohammad Dawood Mohammad was next presenter who talked on the importance of water, water manager and particularly on importance of building the dams. He said that water because it is limited against the large demand and it’s the basic need for livelihood, curtail for agriculture purposes, industrial purposes, generation of the energy, civilization and national security of the country. Moreover, he added that out of five apart from the northern basin in Afghanistan other four are trans bonders water; have disputes with neighbors and always affected negatively from the water management policy of the neighbor countries. But since 2014 government of Afghanistan has clear policy for managing water, therefore, we can use water as tool of bargaining while discussing issues with Iran, Pakistan and other neighbors.
The third presenter, Mohammad Arif Mirkhil also talked on the economic and political importance of Kamal Khan dam, it’s role in the climate changing and improving agriculture in that province. He also pointed out some problems in area of water management (per capita water has been highly reduced in last 5 to 6 decades and national water storage capacity has not been evaluated yet. At the end suggested that government should have clear policy and strategy for managing the country water and universities and research centers must research and investigate in this area.
At the of the gathering, Mr. Rahim, Mohammadi and Mirkhil answered to the questions and comments raised by audience wisely and fluently.