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Afghanistan: Positive results for Water User Associations

Published on Thursday 18 June 2015

In Bamyan Province, rural development issues are intrinsically linked to the rarefication of natural resources (earth, water and pasture) and to climate change.Therefore, SOLIDARITÉS INTERNATIONAL has facilitated the creation of Water User Associations (WUA), who are responsible for water sharing and resource management. We spoke to two members of the WUAs.

The Water Users Associations take the lead and involve the communities in a sustainable management and efficient use of the natural resources (water and pastures). These structures are organized in accordance to the 2009 Afghan Water Law, and legally registered in Ministry of Energy and Water at national and provincial level.

SOLIDARITES INTERNATIONAL has created, reinforced and followed 7 WUAs in Sayghan and Kahmard districts through its programme PARBP ‘natural resources management activities in upper catchments of Kunduz sub-river basin’, from August 2011 to October 2015.

“No water-related tension since 2014”

Qorban Nazar is the cashier of “Adalat” WUA. He has noticed real improvement in relations between various members of the community since the associations were set up. “Before WUA establishment in our community, there were conflicts induced by water sharing every year. In 2014, just after its creation, all WUA members gathered to improve our water management. We decided to support the Mirab (master of water, responsible of water sharing) by hiring two assistants for a better coverage of the area. Now, three persons control water day and night and share it equally amongst the farmers according to their irrigated lands. We made an agreement with the farmers: each of them give a part of their harvest to the Mirab and his assistants. For 80 seer (560 Kg) of wheat harvested, they give half of one seer (3.5 Kg). For 80 seer (560 Kg) of potatoes harvested, they give one seer (7 Kg). We experienced this new system in 2014 and it was a great success. There was no big conflicts linked to the water and the few conflicts that appeared were easily managed by the WUA.”

“Better harvests than previous years”

afghanistan champ blé

Noor Allah, a farmer from Qarwana who depends on Adalat WUA, is also convinced of such a system’s efficiency and its benefits on his crops. “After the creation of the WUA, the members asked SOLIDARITÉS INTERNATIONAL to support the river bed excavation, which was full of stones, on a length of 6 km. This work allowed to drain around 300 jeribs (60 ha) of swampy lands which are now cultivated. The increase of water flow in the canal allowed me to have more water to irrigate my fields. Thanks to this, I had a harvest of 160 seer (1,120 Kg) of wheat and 600 seer (4,200 Kg) of potatoes in 2014. It is 40 seer (420 Kg) more for wheat and 150 seer (1,050 Kg) more for potatoes compared to the harvest I had in 2013.”

This programme benefited from the support of the European Union.

Photo : © Oriane Zerah/ SOLIDARITÉS INTERNATIONAL

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