Drought severely damages crops and orchards in Ghazni – Pajhwok Afghan News
GHAZNI CITY (Pajhwok): Drought has hit all districts in the southern province of Ghazni this year, but Zana Khan, about 30 kilometers from the provincial capital, is the worst hit district.
Farmers and gardeners in the district complain of facing severe water shortages due to drought and running out of water for crops and orchards.
Assadullah, a farmer from Purdil Qala area in Zana Khan district, told Pajhwok Afghan News that the main source of water for crops and orchards in the district was the karez system, which dried up in due to the decline of groundwater.
He added that if the drought continues, their crops and orchards will dry up or yield less this year.
He called on the government and aid agencies to take the necessary steps to resolve the problem.
Mohammad Isa, another farmer, told Pajhwok Afghan News that 80 percent of the district’s population is associated with agriculture and horticulture. The main crops are wheat, corn, carrots, vegetables, grapes, apricots, peaches and plums.
But he said this year’s harvest would be less than half due to drought.
He said that currently people do not have water to irrigate their crops and orchards and the crops are in danger of dying before they mature.
Mohammad Gul, a gardener in the district, told Pajhwok Afghan News that he had three acres of apricot and peach orchards, but the trees were in danger of drying out due to water shortage.
He added that in the past he harvested thousands of kilograms of apricots and peaches from his garden, but this year he feared he might not be able to harvest even half of them.
He called on the government to increase water resources in the district.
Provincial officials in Ghazni also acknowledged the drought problem in the province and said they were aware of people’s problems and were working to find solutions.
Maulvi Asadullah Mansoori, the province’s river basin director, told Pajhwok Afghan News that efforts were being made to build check dams in Zana Khan and other districts of Ghazni to control rainwater, which would help prevent drought in the province.
He added that in some districts of the province, aid agencies were busy clearing canals to help supply water to farms and orchards.
The main sources of water in Zana Khan district are karez and springs, which have been depleted due to climate change and reduced rainfall.
There is also a water dam in the district which has run out of water due to drought.
This year, not only in Ghazni, but also in many parts of the country, the persistent drought has reduced the water supply and caused serious problems for the population.