Pajhwok Afghan News

Kabul seeks help to prevent damages caused by Amu River

KABUL (Pajhwok): Besides causing a humanitarian disaster, the Amu River has submerged up to 25 kilometers of Afghanistan’s land and displaced thousands of families, officials said on Tuesday, urging national and internationals organizations to help prevent the annual erosion of the river’s banks.

The Amu River originates from the Pamir Mountains of northeastern Badakhshan province and flows 1,126 kilometers between Badakhshan, Takhar, Kunduz, Balkh and Jawzjan provinces of Afghanistan and Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan.

Last year, residents of northern Kunduz and Takhar provinces told Pajhwok Afghan News that their agricultural lands and houses had been eaten away by the Amu River and feared further destructions if the river’s banks were not consolidated.

After this report, the cabinet appointed a delegation to conduct a comprehensive investigation regarding the destruction caused by the eroding Amu River’s banks and present a solution plan to the cabinet meeting.

The damage assessment delegation was tasked to identify damaged and vulnerable areas, take measures to restore damaged areas and prevent further damage and estimate the costs.

Attaullah Omari, head of the delegation and Acting Minister of Agriculture and Livestock, told a press conference in Kabul on Tuesday that a humanitarian disaster had occurred in areas along the Amu River.

He said people living along the river lost their agriculture lands and houses to the river bursting its banks in different provinces.

He said the caretaker government alone could not manage the situation and asked national and international organizations to help reinforce the river’s banks.

He said the Amu River had submerged 15 kilometers and even 25 kilometers of Afghanistan’s land in some places and threatened Ikhanam port in Takhar and Sherkhan port in Kunduz.

Omari said thousands of vulnerable families in Takhar, Kunduz, Balkh and Jawzjan provinces needed urgent humanitarian aid and asked national and international aid organizations to help in this regard.

According to him, 50 million afghanis have been allocated by the cabinet consolidate the river banks in areas under serious threat of destruction.

Deputy Minister of Water and Power and a member of the delegation, Engineer Mujib Rahman Omar said strengthening of the Amu River’s banks was a long-term project

“We are working on short-term and long-term plans to prevent the erosion of the banks of the Amu River and to build retaining walls, which will need six billion afghanis”.

Deputy minister of Mines and Petroleum Sheikh Ziaur Rahman Aryubi said besides destroying houses, mosques, schools and arable lands, the river threatened mineral deposits. He said the gold mine in Chah Ab district of Takhar, which contains 30 tons of gold, also facing the threat of being destroyed.

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