The rehabilitated canal provides farmers with irrigation water for their crops
21 DECEMBER 2011 | KANDAHAR, AFGHANISTAN
CHALLENGE Dand District, located in the province of Kandahar, is a rural area that relies heavily on agriculture to sustain its economy. Due to the destructive forces of war, nature, and neglect, local canals had fallen into disrepair. The municipality lacked the resources to address Dand’s infrastructural development, including its canals. Without urgent rehabilitation, residents would see their only source of livelihood continue to degrade, forcing many to search for scarce alternative sources of income.
INITIATIVE Working in close collaboration with local leaders in Dand District, USAID determined that a 2 km canal rehabilitation project was viable. After further discussion, it was decided to include the reconstruction of 145 m³ of retaining walls within the project scope. improve
RESULTS More than 300 laborers were employed to restore the canal to its proper function. The project’s results exceeded local leaders’ expectations. While the budget was modest, the outputs were outstanding. Laborers removed more than 8,000 m³ of silt from the canal bed to ease the flow of water. At other sections of the canal, retaining walls were reconstructed to ensure that the water remains in the canal as it irrigates the area’s farms. As a result, irrigated farmland increased from 20 ha to 140 ha, and 60 families who had been forced to leave their farms have returned to till their land again. “Our life will be more improved and we’ll get more from our land,” said a village leader. The water from the newly rehabilitated canal has provided farmers with a reliable source of income. Additionally, wages paid to the project workforce was an important stimulus to the local economy.
Last updated: January 12, 2015