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Kamal Khan dam water released, but where is it flowing?

Kamal Khan dam water released, but where is it flowing?

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20 Jan 2022 - 11:44
Kamal Khan dam water released, but where is it flowing?
author avatar
20 Jan 2022 - 11:44

ZARANJ (Pajhwok): Kamal Khan dam’s water has reportedly been released into Iran, but the Afghan government and local sources reject the allegation as groundless.

Media reports suggest the Kamal Khan dam is capable of generating nine megawatts of electricity and irrigating 80,000 hectares of farmlands.

Iranian media reported this dam’s gates were opened and its water released into the neighbouring country on Tuesday.

Hassan Kazemi Qomi, Iran’s special envoy for Afghanistan, told Fars News Agency: “I express my gratitude to Taliban officials for fulfilling their commitment.”

The news agency reported it was predicated the water would reach the Iranian border in Sistan-Balochistan province by tomorrow.

The BBC also reported: “Taliban have opened the gates of Kamal Khan Dam to Iran and the water has flowed to Hamoon in Iran today.”

However, several Afghan government sources rejected the reports regarding the release of water into Iran. They insist water was releases to farmers of the province. based on their demand.

Maulvi Akhtar Mohammad Nusrat, spokesman for the Ministry of Water and Energy, told Pajhwok Afghan News reports regarding the release of water into Iran were incorrect.

As the water level rose after recent rains, the dam was filled, he said. Therefore, he explained, water flowed to farmlands in Nimroz province.

Nusrat added: “Farmers, whose lands are irrigated by this dam, had repeatedly asked the governor and also the department concerned for the release of Kamal Khan dam water.”

Subsequently, the provincial officials shared the issue of releasing water to farmlands with the MoWE and the relevant ministry.

Shahabuddin Taimour, an employee of the water department, said: “Based on repeated demands from the people and elders of Nimroz and their meetings with the governor, water was released towards their farmlands on Tuesday.”

On the other hand, another credible source in the Nimroz water department, who declined to be named, made similar remarks, saying the water had been released but not yet reached the city of Zaranj, the capital of Nimroz province.

The source said they had requested 25 cubic meters of water from the central authorities for the people not for Iran.

Conflicting statements

Some residents said they had repeatedly asked local officials to release the water for the irrigation f their fields. They claimed the water had been released in response to their request.

However, others said the water had been released into Iran. Recent rains and floods in Nimroz have led to the filling Kamal Khan dam.

“But the authorities, instead of releasing the water towards farmlands in the district, allowed it to flow to Iran,” said Sayed Jamal, a resident of Chahar Borjak district.

A source in the Nimroz Water Department said that some parts of Chahar Borjak district were under Kamal Khan dam water.

Abdul Hameed Watandost, a resident of the province, said: “All elders and religious scholars of Nimroz had asked the governor to release water into Zaranj and Kang district as soon as possible

“For this reason, elders and officials of the province went to Kamal Khan cam and released the water, which has not yet reached Zaranj. This water is for the Afghan people and agriculture, not for Iran.”

In a letter (copy available to Pajhwok) to the governor, landowners from Nahr-i-Lashkari and Kang district said: “For two weeks now, the Kamal Khan dam has been filled with water.

“The water has not been released so far. Therefore, we ask the officials concerned to release the water as soon as possible for the sake of people’s farmlands.”

On the other hand, a copy of the proposal sent to the MoWE by the Helmand River Basin, said: “The landowners of Kang district demand the flow of water to Lashkari canal. Currently, 25 cubic meters of water per second is needed.”

Iran-Afghanistan agreement

Based on reports, Musa Shafiq, Afghan Prime Minister and his Iranian counterpart Amir Abbas Hoaida signed in 1973 an agreement that includes an introduction, 12 articles and two protocols.

Under Article 2 of the agreement, the total amount of water delivered to Iran annually from Helmand is limited to an average flow of 22 cubic meters per second.

Based on Article 3, four metres cubic water per second will be delivered to Iran on as a goodwill gesture.


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