Flood Protection Wall and Irrigation Channel to Benefit 20,000 Citizens in Takhar

Yesterday, the Acting and Deputy Governor of Takhar and Deputy Director of Taloqan River Basin Agency (TRBA) laid the foundation stone for the construction of a 1.5-kilometre flood protection wall. The construction work will also include the rehabilitation of an irrigation channel to provide a more reliable water supply. A number of provincial officials in charge of governmental institutions also participated in the ceremony. More than 20,000 people will benefit from the improved irrigation of agricultural land and flood protection. The Afghan-German Cooperation’s Regional Infrastructure Development Fund (RIDF) is supporting the TRBA in the project implementation as well as financing with about AFN 122 million.

Speaking at the ceremony, Mr Ahmad Farid Zaki, Deputy Governor of Takhar stated, ‘We are happy to lay the foundation stone for this important flood protection wall. The wall will secure homes and lands located on the Taloqan river banks.’

Currently, the two densely populated villages of Haji Rashid and Zargari in Takhar are prone to floods. These floods can cause severe damages to the residents’ homes and important infrastructure including the Department of Rural Rehabilitation and Development Bridge, or DRRD Bridge, the micro-hydropower plant, and the water mill. In addition, due to lack of proper intake, the local Norullah Irrigation Channel does not provide enough water to sufficiently irrigate the available agricultural land in the area. This means that it has to undergo seasonal repairs.

The construction work will last about 14 months. The planned wall will protect the two villages as well as infrastructure along the right side of Taloqan River. In addition, the Norullah Irrigation Channel will provide a reliable water supply for up to 400ha (more than 2,000 jeribs) of agricultural land, once it is rehabilitated and will no longer have to undergo seasonal repairs.

The new protection measures and rehabilitation will promote socio-economic development in the area and will improve the living conditions of locals. Public services, schools, markets, health clinics and other governmental offices will benefit from the project as they will no longer be exposed to flood damage and land erosion. Furthermore, the construction work will provide about 80 people from the area with daily wages from job opportunities.

Eng. Mohammad Salim Akbar, General Director of Panj Amo River Basin Agency expressed, ‘We request that the community fully support the project implementation and report any concerns or complaints. This will ensure the good operation and maintenance of the project.’

Throughout the project implementation, RIDF will offer on-the-job training, coaching and mentoring sessions for engineers and managers working at TRBA. These activities aim at improving the TRBA’s capacities for identifying, managing, implementing and maintaining similar projects independently in the future.

The Regional Infrastructure Development Fund (RIDF) is implemented by KfW Development Bank on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). The programme aims at improving economic and social infrastructure in Northern Afghanistan while enabling provincial administrations to plan and implement development programmes independently. Since 2011, the programme has funded, constructed and rehabilitated more than 160 kilometres of roads, 50 kilometres of irrigation canals and 11 protection dams against flooding or erosion in the provinces Balkh, Kunduz, Baghlan, Takhar, and Badakhshan. In Samangan, RIDF is currently implementing two school rehabilitation projects. At the same time, the programme has organised about 900 on-the-job training sessions, coaching and seminars for more than 3,000 engineers and governmental employees, facilitating the independent realisation of future infrastructure projects.