In 2016 we constructed a water reservoir for the Agricultural Institute in Qurghan. We are happy that this one - like all others - could be filled with water in spring/early summer of 2016.
In 2014/2015 we built another 3 water reservoirs for the Arab Shah Girls School, Mir Said Baraka Girls School and Baghebustan Girls School in the rural districts of Khancharbagh and Qurghan.
and in 2016 we will hopefully be able to fulfil the wish of the teachers and students of the Qurghan Agricultural College (right) who are in need of a water reservoir after two attempts to drill wells have not been successful.
Clean drinking water is hard to find in the desert or steppe. From 1999 to 2002 Afghanistan suffered from a particularly long and severe period of drought, but even in normal years providing everyone with clean drinking water is difficult. Temperatures rise in the area northwest of the Hindukush mountains up to 45°C. There is only little rain/snow. In the summer months it does not rain at all.
In Spring and from late November water is coming again along the river and the ditches and streams to the northern four districts of the province of Faryab. Especially in spring the floods can be very strong and destroy the mud houses.
Traditional water rights exist but it is difficult to apply them. Water is used up river for the irrigation of the melons plantations and, therefore, the river and streams in the northern districts of the province fall dry. Only at the end of November the water starts running again.
To find water the wells have to go down at least 50 to 60 m. The well shafts are dug by manpower, some times with the help of donkeys. Men go down the shaft, fill buckets made from tyres which are then pulled up with ropes either by men or donkey and man. Some times all these efforts are in vain because the water found may be salty.
Recently, in one village a desaltification machine was put to use.
Hopes are great for an improvement of the drinking water situation. A pipeline from the Amu Darya, the big river at the border to Usbekistan/Turkmenistan, pumping stations and water reservoirs were built. The water is running now – most of the time – and houses are connected, but only in areas where town planning is completed. Many villages will have to wait for years to come before they are connected. Also, the materials used for the pipes are not of good quality and break ever so often.
Therefore, we have built either wells or, where this was not possible, water reservoirs for the schools. These water reservoirs are filled with water after November and in the following months and this water is used in summer. When the reservoirs falls dry, it can be filled with water bought from the water traders.
Recently, we covered those reservoirs which we built about 15 years ago – square open 8 x 8 m. Nowadays all reservoirs are covered with copulas. The water flows via ditches into a chamber where the sediments can settle, then it goes into the reservoir itself. It will be taken out from the filter chamber.