The first phase of Qosh Tapa, a major water canal project in Afghanistan, will be completed and inaugurated in a year, officials from the National Development Corporation (NDC) said.
NDC’s operational deputy, Reyazuddin Sharifi, said the first portion of the canal will be 46km long and its budget will be paid for from the income of the Ministry of Mines and Petroleum.
“The work on this project will start in different areas and more technical employees and engineers will be involved as the project goes ahead,” he said.
Qosh Tapa canal will be 280km long and 100 meters wide. It will begin in Kaldar district of Balkh and cross through Jawzjan and Faryab.
The project is intended to irrigate 580,000 acres of land which have been deprived of water for years due to drought.
“Millions of people will benefit; their lands will be irrigated. When you have water, you have everything,” Mohammad, a Balkh resident said.
“The people were waiting for the construction of this canal for years and now it is being turned into reality,” said Wahidullah Afghanzoy, another resident of Balkh.
Islamic Emirate spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said wheat production will increase drastically in the north of the country once the canal is completed. “By achieving the goals set for this project, Afghanistan will become self-sufficient in terms of wheat,” he said.