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Afghanistan water sources use by neighboring countries

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(Last Updated On: September 16, 2015)

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The fears of a security breakdown in Afghanistan boil the larger possibility of an economic collapse. The country’s revenues seem abysmal, and the mismanagement of billions of dollars in aid has turned it entirely dependent on foreign donations and the presence of foreign troops.

With Afghanistan being largely an agricultural country, investment in the water sector should have been a natural priority for sustainable economic development. Yet, that is not the case. In the Afghanistan National Development Strategy, a framework for allocating international aid, water does not figure as a core development sector. Only 5 percent of development has gone into the water sector during the past decade.

The Ministry of Water and Energy says that Afghanistan water resources reaches to 57 billion cubic meters which the most parts of it use by neighboring countries.

Along the Afghanistan’s borders, villagers see their water flow into the neighboring countries without being able to use it for their own local fields. The scarcity of water has led to tensions between tribes and villages.

The ministry if water declared that the continuation of insecurity caused Afghanistan fails to effectively use its water from the construction of dams and other projects.

Officials in the ministry noted that the residents of the country must cooperate with the government in providing the security of water and electricity projects.

“The construction of dams takes long time and in some cases the works have not been done properly and on time. In addition, the main problem is insecurity that cause the projects face a deadlock,” Ali Ahmad Osmani, minister of Water and Energy said.

One of Afghanistan’s missed opportunities in the last decade was its failure to legislate a comprehensive water law. Existing law does not define water rights.

Land owners are also owners of water and landless farmers have no rights to water. The water management institutions are highly ineffective.

The lack of a database of natural resources and the limited ability of the government to collect data is another challenge and a major obstacle to planning and development.

Afghanistan has a population of 29 million, with 79% of the population living in rural areas. Only 27% of its population has access to improved water sources, and it goes down to 20% in rural areas, the lowest percentage in the world.

The numbers get even worse when you look at the percentage of people with access to improved sanitation facilities. With the numbers at 5% nationwide, and only 1% in rural areas, Afghanistan again ranks the worst in the world.

In Kabul, the capital, with a population of 6 million, 80% of the people lack access to safe drinking water, and 95% lack access to improved sanitation facilities.

Analysts say that reaching the safe driniking water is another challenges of Afghanistan residents which the people are suffering from.

Water is a collective issue for Afghanistan and its neighbors. Any solution should therefore be multinational. Nations involved in Afghanistan, in particular US-led forces, should avoid politicizing this problem as it is so vital to the future of Afghanistan and the region as a whole.

Investment decisions should be based not on efforts to deprive neighboring countries of water but on avoiding waste and improving utilization of resources.

Without regional cooperation, Afghanistan will be faced with deeper and unresolvable challenges that will be even more difficult to solve after most international forces leave in 2014.

 

 

 

 

 

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UN calls on Afghanistan to prevent further killings of human rights defenders

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(Last Updated On: August 14, 2020)

Afghanistan must take early decisive action to prevent killings of human rights defenders, UN human rights experts said today, calling attention to a recent spate of such deaths.

“The killing of one human rights defender is a tragedy for society; the death of nine defenders since the beginning of this year shows the emergence of a truly alarming trend,” said Mary Lawlor, Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders. “Already by August, Afghanistan has far exceeded last year’s figures.”

“Impunity allows the perpetuation of such crimes and implies a lack of recognition for human rights defenders’ role in society,” the experts said, noting that investigations in many cases have not yet yielded any results. “There needs to be full accountability for such egregious violations of human rights.”

Asmatullah Salaam, who worked on promoting the right to education in the province of Ghazni, was abducted and killed as he made his way to celebrate Eid with his family on 1 August. His death comes not long after Fatimah Natasha Khalil and Ahmad Jawed Folad were killed on their way to work at the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission on 27 June. Human rights defender Ibrahim Ebrat was shot dead in Zabul in May.

“In January the Government of Afghanistan voiced support for the idea of creating a national protection mechanism for human rights defenders, but no progress has been reported and clearly defenders are still no better protected than they were before,” said the experts. “We urge the government to urgently put in place, as promised, an effective national protection mechanism.”

It is the responsibility of every government to protect human rights defenders against armed groups, they added.

“Afghanistan must do better at detecting and acting on early warning signs, such as threats and intimidation, protecting others who find themselves at risk, and thoroughly investigating violence, including killings, when they happen,” they said.  “We cannot allow these disturbing events to continue.”

The experts said they are talking with Afghanistan authorities, and pledged to closely monitor the situation.

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Afghanistan COVID-19 updates: 75 new cases, total 37,506

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(Last Updated On: August 14, 2020)

The Ministry of Public Health Friday reported that 75 new Coronavirus cases were positive out of 408 samples tested in the last 24 hours. 

The cases were registered in Kabul (4), Herat (36), Balkh (3), Paktya (1), Bamyan (4), Nangarhar (2), Badghis (5), Logar (2), Ghazni (12), Daikundi (5), and Kunar (1) provinces.

According to the Ministry, so far, 98,199 samples have been tested in COVID-19 testing centers, of which 37,506 cases were diagnosed positive.

The Ministry in its daily updates announced that currently there are 9,347 active COVID-19 cases in Afghanistan.

In the last 24 hours, the ministry also recorded 6 new deaths, five in Herat and one in Logar, from the virus, bringing the total fatalities to 1,369 in the country.

The ministry stated that 452 COVID-19 patients were discharged from the hospitals after treatment, adding that, 27,166 had recovered so far.

Two weeks ago, the Ministry of Public Health released details of an official survey conducted with the help of the World Health Organization that found the coronavirus has likely infected a third of the country’s population – roughly 10 million people.

The Afghan health ministry released the estimates Wednesday, saying they are based on antibody tests on about 9,500 people in 34 provinces. 

Acting Health Minister, Ahmad Jawad Osmani told a news conference in Kabul the survey showed 31.5 percent of Afghanistan’s population has been infected by COVID-19.

Osmani noted that 53 percent of Kabul’s nearly five million residents had contracted the coronavirus.

There are 20,960,424 cases tested positive worldwide, with 760,371 deaths and 13,028,829 recoveries.

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RB Leipzig reach CL Semi-final just 11 years after its formation

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(Last Updated On: August 14, 2020)

RB Leipzig, the German football club, defeated Atletico Madrid 2-1 on Thursday to reach the Champions League semi-finals for the first time in the club’s history.

After a goalless half, Dani Olmo scored for the German side ahead but Atletico’s substitute Joao Felix leveled the tie from the penalty spot after he had been fouled in the box.

The match was seemingly going to the extra time, however, in the 88th minute, the American right-back Tyler Adams scored the late winner for Leipzig, taking them to the semi-final round of 19/20 Champions League season.

Leipzig established by Red Bull will face Paris Saint-Germain in the semi-final next week.

Julian Nagelsmann, the Leipzig’s coach said, “Games against Thomas [PSG’s coach] are always very interesting because he has a very good idea of how to play football. I hope that I will also come up with a good idea against him and that my boys will perform as they did against Atletico. Then we will play a very good game.”

In other CL matches in 1-8 round, FC Barcelona will face FC Bayern Munich tonight, August 14th.

The Champions League’s final is scheduled to take place on August 23 in Estádio da Luz in Lisbon, Portugal.

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