ZARANJ (Pajhwok): Afghan President Ashraf Ghani on Wedneday during the ineugation of Kamal Khan Dam in southwestern Nimroz province stressed on implementation of Helmand Water Accord, saying Afghanistan would no longer give away free water to anyone and Iran should provide fuel to Afghans in return of water.
Located in Chahar Burjak district, the Kamal Khan dam has a 52 million cubic meters capacity and will irrigate 174,000 hectares of land, local officials say. Construction work on the dam, located 95 kilometers from Zaranj, the provincial capital, got under way in 1974. But the project’s completion was delayed by decades of war.
During the inauguration ceremony of the dam, President Ashraf Ghani emphasized on the implementation of Helmand Water Accord and said that Afghanistan would no longer relinquish free water to anyone. Pointing to Iran, he said, “It is the history whatever we had or whatever we were in the past; the economy of Iran and Afghanistan is supplementary to each other and they are not opposing each other.”
He said that the Afghan government was discussing with Iranian officials to turn Nimroz to the source of wheat not only for Afghanistan, but Iran too.
Ghani stressed on the implementation of Helmand Water Accord which was signed between Afghanistan and Iran during the leadership of former Afghan Prime Minister Mohammad Musa Shafiq.
There was no problem in the accord, but the problem was in its implementation and Afghanistan now has the key of Helmand and would implement the accord with Iran, he added. Flowing more water than what has mentioned in the accord is based on something in return, he said. “Iran can get more water if it gives oil in return,” he added.
Ghani said that Nimroz people had long been waited for the dam to be completed and their long wish was finally fulfilled today. “From the physical point of view, Kamal Khan Dam has built from clay and concrete, but from the national point of view, it represents the national will of Afghans for rehabilitation of a glowing history,” he added.
Ghani said that the Afghan government would also work with two international and Iranian companies for management of wind and production of electricity using solar systems. He said that studies showed 70,000 megawatts of electricity can be produced from wind based systems in Afghanistan.
Meanwhile, during his visit to western Nimroz province, President Ashraf Ghani on Wednesday inaugurated a major dam. Located in Chahar Burjak district, the Kamal Khan dam has a 52 million cubic meters capacity and will irrigate 174,000 hectares of land, local officials say.
Construction work on the dam, located 95 kilometers from Zaranj, the provincial capital, got under way in 1974. But the project’s completion was delayed by decades of war. The president pressed three yellow buttons that opened the dam’s sluice gates. As water flowed from the reservoir into a canal, officials applauded.
Ghani and his deputies also signed a book on the dam before a white dove was released a symbol of Afghanistan’s yearning for peace and stability. It is expected to generate nine megawatts of power besides storing store 52 million cubic meters of water and irrigating agricultural lands and preventing flooding in the province. First and second vice presidents — Amrullah Saleh and Mohammad Sarwar Danish — and other government officials attended the inaugural ceremony.