Construction of Dams on Kabul River and its Socio-Economic Implications for Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan
Pakistan and Afghanistan have planned various developmental projects on Kabul River System (KRS) with the intention to overcome water and energy deficiencies irrespective of ecological problems faced by Kabul River and socio economic complexities of each other. The objectives of this paper are to know the present uses of Kabul River and future potential of the river for construction of dams. Studies conducted during 1990-2010 revealed that the Kabul River has already been used for hydro power
... neration and irrigation by both the riparian countries, Pakistan and Afghanistan. Undoubtedly, it has a major role in uplifting the socio-economic condition of the farmer communities. But this heavy extraction of water has also posed some negative impacts on the river's ecology and surrounding community such as fishermen and people attached with tourism. Therefore, further construction of dams need technical hands with the idea not to bring further distortion in the environment. As per analysis of five years flow data recorded at Nowshera station, the flow rate during July-August rose above 1000 M3/Sec. Water received during this period of time can be termed as extra and can be allocated for storage. If Afghanistan constructs more dams on Kabul River or on its tributaries, it will have negative impacts on Khyber Pukhtunkhwa province. Three fertile districts, Peshawar, Nowshera and Charsada will be suffered in terms of productivity and crop yields. The diversion of Chitral River is good for Pakistan but not for Afghanistan. By doing so, Pakistan will be able to irrigate its eastern part, mostly fall in erstwhile Federal Administered Tribal Area (FATA), Dir and Charssada districts. But two fertile districts i.e. Peshawar and Nowshera will remain barren. In this way, diversion of Chirtal River cannot be counted as a good decision. It is therefore recommended to use the water after proper calculation by keeping in view both the agricultural as well as the ecological aspects. For this, both the countries are required to take the initiatives for identification of collective responsibilities/efforts and conserve the river by using it in a sustainable manner.