KABUL: The 28-member European Union (EU) has pledged 1.6 billion Euros through a single plan to help Afghanistan preserve its underground water.
EU Ambassador to Afghanistan Pierre Mayaudon said this while speaking at a conference E-symposium on Underground Water Management in Kabul.
Without giving details, the ambassador said the EU plan was to help Afghanistan in areas of drinking water, agriculture and renewable energy till 2020.
Besides this aid, he said the EU annually provided 100 million Euros to the annual budget of Afghanistan to encourage the government to draft proper strategy for water management.
The EU envoy said he was happy to be part of such symposiums arranged to discuss the underground water management of Afghanistan.
Mohammad Idrees Malyar, deputy director of the National Environmental Protection Authority (NEPA), said the underground water was on the decline while the air in Kabul was getting more polluted because of the increase in population.
He expressed deep concern over the plummeting underground water level in Kabul and called for a joint strategy and work of the authorities concerned in this regard.
He said getting photographs from different parts of the surface, collection of exact figures and drafting of strategies were NEPA main responsibilities.
Najibullah Fahim, state minister for disaster management, stressed the need for treatment of surface water for consumption and warned of worst consequences from the usage of underground water.
Referring to the current wave of drought, he said, agriculture products declined by 50 percent, with 3.3 million animals facing shortage of water and forage.