Water scarcity, drought plague Kunar farmers

Farmers in the Kunar province of Afghanistan are facing a dire lack of water, impacting their agricultural lands and livelihoods. As a result of prolonged drought and insufficient water supply, hundreds of acres of farmland have become barren and unusable, the farmers said.

The farmers called for the construction of dams on the Kunar River to address the critical water scarcity. The situation has particularly affected the fertile lands in the Asmar district, which have transformed into unproductive areas due to the lack of water.

This year’s severe drought has exacerbated the problem, leaving the farmers with no crops to harvest and no means to earn a living.

“The water shortage has been devastating for us. Our lands have dried up, and we have no produce to sell,” said Mohammada Jan, a resident of Kunar.

The farmers have expressed frustration with the apparent lack of urgency from the Taliban officials in finding a solution for water control. They believe that constructing dams on the Kunar River is essential to ensure water reaches their agricultural lands.

To address the farmers’ concerns, local Taliban officials in Kunar have acknowledged the need to take action. Hazrat Ali Zakir, the Taliban district governor in Asmar, acknowledged the criticisms and demands made by the farmers.

“We understand the gravity of the water crisis faced by our farmers. Constructing dams in the Kunar Sea is a priority for us to address this pressing issue,” said Zakir.

Additionally, the farmers have voiced concerns about the negligent approach of local officials towards the Kunar River, resulting in water flowing into Pakistan instead of nourishing agricultural lands within Afghanistan.

The situation is becoming increasingly urgent, and the farmers’ plea for the timely construction of dams on the Kunar Sea remains a critical concern.

As the water scarcity persists and the livelihoods of farmers hang in the balance, swift action is needed to avert a full-blown crisis and to secure a more sustainable future for agricultural communities in Kunar, experts said.