SAR-I-PUL (Pajhwok): Residents of northern Sar-i-Pul province welcome the signing of a contract to resume construction work on the Sultan Ibrahim water dam in near future.
According to officials, the Sultan Ibrahim water dam will be constructed at a cost of 37 million dollars and will have the capacity to irrigate 55,000 hectares of land.
Two days ago, the Economic Commission announced signing contract for the construction of Sultan Ibrahim dam with the National Development Company, which will begin work in the near future.
Eng. Nasrullah Habibi, advisor to the directorate of water basin, told Pajhwok Afghan News the dam’s technical survey conducted in 2008 by an Indian company showed the dam had the capacity to irrigate 55,000 hectares of land.
Estimating the cost at 37 million US dollars, he added that according to the survey, the height of the dam would be 45 meters and two canals on the dam’s left and right sides each measuring 80 kilometers would be constructed.
He added the dam has the capacity to store one million cubic meters of water and produce more than 20 megawatts of electricity.
He added that the National Development Company had designed the dam and its construction work would be completed within three years, during which thousands of people would be employed.
Habibi said although the Sultan Ibrahim dam was surveyed in 2008, its practical work could not be started, but now with efforts of the local administration, the project was approved by the Islamic Emirate leadership and its contract was awarded to the National Development Company. The company will start construction work soon.
He said residents of 11 villages around the dam will be displaced and they will be compensated for their losses.
Seyyed Mohammad, one of the farmers in the province, said: “Every day water in the river decreases and the underground water recedes. If the dam is built, farmers will no longer need to dig deep wells.
He added the dam’s construction would develop agriculture and lead to self- sufficiency in the sector.
Hikmatullah Heydari, a civil society activist, said construction of the Sultan Ibrahim dam was a 20-year-old demand of the people.
He added: “Now that the caretaker government has decided to build this dam, all the people, especially residents of the district, welcome it.”
He said the Sultan Ibrahim water dam was considered a game changer as it would prevent Sar-i-Pul water from being wasted during 9 months of the year, and during the three months of summer when people needed drinking and irrigation water.