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Qargha Lake: Businesses on the nosedive

10 Nov 2021 - 13:19
10 Nov 2021 - 13:19

KABUL (Pajhwok): Amusement tool owners at the Qargha Lake in Kabul say their earnings have significantly dropped in the past three months due the declining number of visitors.

Located eight kilometres west of the capital, the Qargha Lake was built by King Mohammad Zahir Shah.

Boat ride, fishing and playing golf at a lush-green course are some of the recreational activities at the lake.

On holidays, many families would stream to the lake for fun. After the fall of the previous government, however, the number of visitors, especially women, has nosedived.

Amar Nawabi, who once owned a hotel at the park, is now forced to sell peas on a handcart. He told Pajhwok Afghan News his work had been unprofitable for the past four months.

“I had very good business before the collapse of the Ghani government but now my work is making losses,” he remarked.

Nawabi called unemployment and poverty the main reasons for the dipping number of visitors to the amusement park. To him, entertainment is not possible without money.

About five months ago, he earned more than 4,000 afghanis a day. But during the past four months, his daily income has not exceeded three hundred afghanis.

Hussain Ali, another peddler in the area, also spoke of declining incomes, saying he had not earned more than 20,000 afghanis in the past four months, he used to earn 30,000 afghanis a month.

He said after the change of regime, the business in Qargha Lake has reached zero, because people facing financial problem.

He added: “We ask the Islamic Emirate to ask the people to return to their work and pay the people’s salaries, because life is like an economic chain.”

Meanwhile, Haji Ajmal Fazel, the owner of boats in the lake, told Pajhwok that with the change of regime, work has decreased and people do not come to this amusement place anymore.

He also called poverty and unemployment behind the lack of visitors from the area.

Kifayatullah, a yacht owner, recalled that before the political change, he would sail his boat in the dam 30 to 40 times a day. But for the past four months, his business has been struggling.

Naveedullah, who has 15 huts at the site, said his booths would be chock-full of visitors, with some sitting on the ground. But now the situation has changed.

In the past, he earned four to ten thousand afghanis a day. Over the last four months, however, he often goes without work.

Mohibullah, a horse owner, recalled before the fall of the Ghani administration, his work was rewarding and he earned 1,000 afghanis a day. But over the last four months, he has been unable even to feed his horses.

He noted that security in the area was better than before; but due to rising poverty, the number of visitors had decreased.

No female visitors

Muzamil, a resident of Kandahar province who came to this recreational site, said the situation had changed and Qargha was no longer as crowded as it used to be in the past.

He claimed no women or girls could be seen due to restrictions on them. He called on other citizens and families to visit the lake for fun without any fear.

Qari Mahmood Noor Jihadyar, a resident of Mazar-i-Sharif who visited Qargha along with friends, said he had come to Kabul after four years.

Referring to the government change, he said: “I’m very happy with the arrival of the Islamic Emirate, the mujahideen and other people are safe everywhere. Now we can move at will.”

Addressing other citizens, he said security of the area had been ensured by mujahideen and people could have fun without any worry.

Haji Mohammad, a resident of southern Ghazni province, said it was his first visit to the Qargha Lake. “With security for visitors ensured, compatriots could come here and roam around freely. There are no security concerns.”


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