The General Directorate of Kabul River Basin said Friday that a drop of 47 percent in rainfall this year in the Kabul river basin area was extremely alarming and has resulted in major challenges.
Officials said this year’s drought, especially in the Kabul region, was of major concern and a number of measures have been taken to help alleviate some of the problems.
Kabul residents are also concerned about the drop in the groundwater level and said government is unable to provide drinking water to some parts of the capital.
Officials confirmed the drop in groundwater levels in the capital and voiced their concerns.
“There are some inevitabilities in the water management of this system and we have prepared a plan for measures around the usage of water in order to use the water efficiently and decrease the risks brought on by the drought,” said Marouf Maser, the General Director of Kabul River Basin.
Kabul residents say that in the past month, the water level has dropped by three to five meters.
They have criticized government for not providing water for sanitation purposes and said that large parts of the city now face water shortages.
“Most people also get sick because of this water,” one resident said.
The National Disaster Management Authority (ANDMA) said that at the moment, along with Kabul, more than twenty provinces in the country are experiencing a drought.
Earlier this week, CEO Abdullah Abdullah attended the Water for Sustainable Development summit in Dushanbe, which was attended by about 1,000 high-ranking officials and other stakeholders.
Addressing the conference on Wednesday, Abdullah said the lack of potable water is a global challenge that must be addressed as a top priority.
He said climate change, increasing population and environment pollution were the main factors that add to water problems.
He told delegates that Afghanistan has been badly affected by water issues which include a shortage of water reservoirs, the melting of snow resources, drought and water pollution.
He also said Afghanistan’s population could double by 2050 and that this would put further pressure on the country.
“We have created a coordination unit at the chief executive office to follow sustainable development,” he said.
He said the Afghan government welcomed any programs and steps towards reducing water related challenges in the region and the world and that Kabul would not hesitate to contribute to efforts and cooperation in this regard.
Last year, the World Health Organization stated in a report that some 3 in 10 people worldwide, or 2.1 billion, lack access to safe, readily available water at home, and 6 in 10, or 4.5 billion, lack safely managed sanitation.