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Afghanistan's Looming Water Crisis

February 18, 2013|

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Afghanistan is a largely agricultural economy. This is a scene in Yakawlang, Bamian. Image by Mujib Mashal. Afghanistan, 2012.

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Lack of investment in developing water infrastructure means Afghanistan's largely agricultural economy will continue to suffer. Image by Mujib Mashal. Afghanistan, 2012.

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Four out of five of Afghanistan's river basins flow out of the country; most of the water is not used before it leaves. Image by Mujib Mashal. Afghanistan, 2012.

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In parts of Badakhshan, infrastructure is within sight across the border in Tajikistan, but still no signs of it at home. Image by Mujib Mashal. Afghanistan, 2012.

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In Helmand, the reconstruction of the Kajaki dam has yet to be completed despite the $500 million dollar investment, and casualties in the security forces. Image by Mujib Mashal. Afghanistan, 2012.

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A UN report says Afghanistan needs better water management because the availability of water per capita is expected to decline by 50 percent in the next three decades. Image by Mujib Mashal. Afghanistan, 2012.

Tensions over trans-boundary water issues with Iran and Pakistan have been a major hurdle to investments in Afghanistan's water infrastructure despite significant international aid over the last decade. Donors have stayed away from major projects out of fear that they might anger the neighbors. As a result, the largely agricultural economy has not had much of a boost and the country faces a major economic crisis as the international gaze begins to shift away.