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‘Afghanistan facing water mismanagement not shortage’

‘Afghanistan facing water mismanagement not shortage’

Mar 22, 2016 - 17:38

KABUL (Pajhwok): The Minister of Agriculture and Livestock on Tuesday expressed his concern over water management and said currently 45 percent of the country’s rivers’ water was being wasted before reaching crops.

Asadullah Zamir, addressing a conference marking the International Water Day, recent photos captured from the air showed over 9.5 million of the county’s land was suitable for cultivation and out of which 500,000 hectares could be irrigated compared to two million hectares currently being irrigated.

According to his ministry, 70 percent of agricultural products are obtained from irrigated lands, 30 percent form rain-fed land and 60 percent of the market is occupied by agricultural products.

Zamir said 80 percent of the population’s economy relied on agriculture and stressed more attention to the vital sector’s development.

Energy and Water Minister Eng. Ali Ahmad Osmani, who also addressed the conference, said: “Water is the huge need of human beings and it has no alternative. Neither the land nor human beings can live without water. Discussion on water is discussion on life and death.”

He said currently Afghanistan did not face a shortage of water but a lack of water management needed to be addressed.

Ezzatullah Amid, a university teacher, said access to clean water was the primary right of human beings. He said over two million people in the world suffered from water-borne diseases due to non-availability of clean drinking water.