Monday, April 15, 2024

Uzbekistan concerned as Qo’shtepa Canal alters Central Asian water regime: Mirziyoyev

Immigration News

Fidel Rahmati
Fidel Rahmati
Fidai Rahmati is the editor and content writer for Khaama Press. You may follow him at Twitter @FidelRahmati

The President of Uzbekistan has expressed unprecedented concern about the impact of the Qo’shtepa water transfer canal construction in northern Afghanistan by the Taliban, saying that this canal disrupts the “water regime and balance” of Central Asia.

Shavkat Mirziyoyev, in his speech on Friday at the meeting of the Council of Founding States of the Aral Sea Rescue Fund, said, “You are well aware that Afghan authorities are actively involved in building this canal, and its creation fundamentally alters the water regime and balance in Central Asia.”

The President of Uzbekistan considers it “essential” to propose the formation of a joint working group to examine all aspects of the construction of the Qo’shtepa canal and its impact on the water regime of the Amu Darya River, with the participation of research institutions from Central Asian countries, including the Taliban.

The Taliban government is rapidly advancing the construction of the Amu Darya water transfer canal, which spans 285 kilometres and serves three Northern provinces: Balkh, Jowzjan, and Faryab.

Mr. Mirziyoyev emphasizes that “the issue of Afghan representatives’ participation in regional discussions regarding shared water resources should be considered.”

Feasibility studies for the canal began in 2018, and it is the largest water transfer project in the northern part of the country, with a capacity to transfer 10 billion cubic meters of water from the bordering Amu Darya River.

The canal is 285 kilometres long, 152 meters wide, and has a depth ranging from 8.5 to 12.5 meters. According to the office of the acting Deputy Economic Minister of the Taliban, 550,000 hectares of land in Balkh, Jowzjan, and Faryab will be irrigated after the canal’s completion.

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