When it comes to Afghanistan global attention is only on its volatile political environment. However, what we fail to see is the fact that this beautiful country with its rocky terrain and tall mountains is witnessing perceptible impacts of climate change.
With the rising temperature, the region is not only having less snow but also experiencing harsh heat waves. This is also impacting the livelihoods of millions of people dependent on agriculture.
Lesser snow also means lesser water from snowmelt. This is leading to conflict over water and natural resources, adding to the misery of people in a nation already torn by conflicts and brutality.
One of the many ways to conserve water is by raising the heights of dams. In 2019, the erstwhile government of Afghanistan decided to increase the height of Dahla dam, located in the north of Kandahar region, to help solve the water issues. Under the Taliban regime, most of the development projects are now at a halt, including the Dahla project.
However, is raising the height of dams at all the solution to the problem at hand in the region?
Sanaullah Salam argues that the optimum solution to the problem of water in the country is through nature-based watershed management. In this issue, he discusses how Afghanistan is in the face of a climate crisis and why a nature-based watershed programme is the need of the hour.