More than 5,000 families are better-off and the fields are lush as a result of crucial repairs to irrigation infrastructure
28 JULY 2013 | KANDAHAR, AFGHANISTAN
“We had no water for our crops, then the runoff from the mountains would flood our lands,” says Noor Mohammad, describing the predicament of his tiny village in Afghanistan’s southern province of Kandahar.
Demrasi’s problems were hardly unique. Like other villages in Kandahar’s Panjwai district, it was stuck in a cycle of woe that went from drought to deluge and back again. For more than a decade, Demrasi struggled to grow food. The crops withered without adequate irrigation even as years of flooding laid waste to the fields. Slowly, Demrasi’s impoverished farmers started to leave in search of work in nearby cities and towns. The 150 households in the village often went to bed hungry.
District government officials partnered with USAID and more than 600 members of the community to repair Panjwai’s irrigation infrastructure benefitting more than 5,000 families in three villages.
Demrasi’s reservoir was repaired, as was a crucial irrigation canal and a road that linked the farms to local markets.
Barely two months after the project’s completion, green crops were growing on land that had been barren for years. Noor Mohammad says Demrasi is now motivated to do more and it plans to dig another irrigation canal as well as start a nursery right next to the reservoir. “We’ve been brought back to life,” he says.
Last updated: January 16, 2015