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Most Kandahar factories go dark due to power shortage

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2 Jan 2022 - 17:43
author avatar
2 Jan 2022 - 17:43

KANDAHAR CITY (Pajhwok):  Many factories have been closed down in southern Kandahar province due to lack of electricity, with only a few operating by using fuel, industrialists say.

Fazlullah Meshkani, director of the Kandahar Industrialists’ Union, told Pajhwok Afghan News that there were 350 factories in the industrial park in the province, but only a few were operational.

He said industrialists and officials were trying to solve the problem but no solution had been found so far.

Although the electricity shortage problem has been lingering in Kandahar for a long time, industrialists say they expect a permanent solution to the problem now.

Hayatullah, head of a factory, said that in the past, the government provided both fuel and electricity, but with the advent of the new government, the power supply was cut off. He said rising oil prices had forced industrialists to close most of their factories, leaving thousands jobless.

Haji Nasrullah Zaheer, director of the Kandahar Chamber of Commerce, also said that there were three major problems facing the industry, such as the lack of electricity, high oil prices and restrictions on money withdrawal from banks.

He told Pajhwok Afghan News that many factories had been shut down and those who were active had reduced their staff by 20 to 30 percent.

Another major problem after electricity, he said, was that traders could not get much money from banks to import raw materials, which had a huge impact not only on industry but also on trade.

Maulvi Mohammad Hanif Hamza, director of Kandahar’s power department, said the power supply had been cut off due to a shortage of water at the Kajaki dam where only one turbine was operational.

He told Pajhwok Afghan News that at present only six or seven megawatts of electricity was supplied from Kajaki dam to Kandahar city, which was very low.

He said there was also 32 megawatts of solar power, but it was not for factories, so factories were currently without electricity.

He added they had held meetings with industrialists and called their problems a priority, adding that he had also informed the Center about it. He said efforts were being made to solve the power problem for factories in Kandahar.

Although more money has been spent on electricity in Kandahar in recent years, the largest province in the country is still facing power shortages.

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