USAID organized site visits to help journalists spread positive news about Afghanistan’s gas riches.
9 MAY 2012 | SHIBERGHAN, AFGHANISTAN
With Afghanistan home to valuable natural resources such as gas, minerals, gems and marble, journalists are turning the spotlight on the country’s economic potential.
People living in Jawzjan, Shiberghan and other parts of northern Afghanistan say they are sitting on abundant gas reserves, although the fields are now abandoned. Afghanistan is home to valuable natural resources such as gas, minerals, gems and marble, but often only the locals are aware of the riches that lay beneath the land.
In an effort to increase awareness of Afghanistan’s potential as an energy hub and a major exporter, USAID organizes visits by local journalists to sites that could change the future of their country.
In December 2011, USAID organized a visit for 22 Afghan journalists to see one of the old gas production factories built during the Soviet regime in Jawzjan province. At this location, the Government of Afghanistan has begun its revival of Afghanistan’s gas and oil industry with the aim of becoming a major player in the region’s energy industry and resolving the nation’s energy crisis.
“This gas station could solve gas shortages for the entire country and offer a much needed 24-hour energy supply for Afghans. Our goal is strengthening the capacity of Afghanistan’s gas enterprises,” said Saleh Mohammad Fazli, director of Jawzjan’s gas facility.
Fazli also told the journalists that the Jawzjan facility is producing 70,000 cubic meters per day. Two other gas wells have recently begun operations in Jawzjan. The government has also bored a new well at Shakarak, and efforts are underway to reconstruct three gas wells located at yet another site in Jarqudoq.
The visit generated positive media coverage locally and internationally. Suhrab Sirat, the BBC’s local reporter in Mazar-e-Sharif, passed the information onto BBC’s international desk, which ran with the story. In addition to increasing awareness across the world of Afghanistan’s economic potential, local journalists rushed to give a piece of good news to their Afghan audience.
Last updated: January 20, 2015