Dialogue Event Participants Ask for Reform in Water Sector

Dialogue Event Participants Ask for Reform in Water Sector

On 21 June 2017, the Afghanistan Research and Evaluation Unit (AREU) conducted a dialogue event to discuss “The Impacts of Water Sector Reforms on Agriculture in Afghanistan.” A number of experts, university professors and government officials from the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock (MAIL) and the Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation and Development (MRRD) attended the event.

Mr. Mir Ahmad Joyenda, AREU Deputy Director of Communications, welcomed the participants and briefly introduced AREU and explained the goals and objectives of Governance Forum Afghanistan (Govern4Afg). He also talked about the importance of research in water and agriculture sectors and noted the Afghan government’s efforts for establishing an aerial corridor with India. ”The aerial corridor certainly helps Afghan farmers and traders to export vegetables and fruits to India and boost trade between the two countries,” Joyenda said.

Atal Ahmadzai, the author of the report, said that one of the main objectives of the research was to assess the impacts of reforms in the water sector on the agriculture sector in Afghanistan. He further said that reforms in water sector, based on Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM), provide the most effective way to use water more efficiently.

Mujib Azizi, an AREU staff member who played a key role in preparing the report, said that lack of coordination and cooperation among the relevant ministries, administrative structures that lack clarity in repartition of responsibilities and the prevailing insecurity have adversely affected the water sector in Afghanistan.

The participants of the dialogue event were of the view that the water law in Afghanistan is very advanced, but it is ill-suited to the Afghan context. They said the only solution to all the existing problems in the water sector in the country is the introduction of fundamental reforms. They also said that reforms in the water sector would be in the best interest of farmers.

The event’s participants welcomed the research and its recommendations and requested that a copy of the final version of the research report should be shared with relevant ministries, the government departments and other organizations.

Some of the participants recommended that an independent national water management directorate should be set up to effectively manage water in the country.

A representative from MAIL and Professor Naim Eqrar suggested that the same presentation on the findings of the research should be shared with the government authorities at the ministries of MAIL, Water and Energy and the Independent Directorate of Arazi.