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Afghanistan | A Canal to Peace and Improved Livelihoods: Restoration of Occupied Irrigation infrastructure

Afghanistan | A canal to peace and improved livelihoods: Restoration of occupied irrigation infrastructure


Since 2016, Kotwal village in Chinarto district of Uruzgan province is facing severe security challenges constraining any kind of humanitarian assistance including strict movement restrictions for all civilians’ activities. The situation in this area got further aggravated when the Kotwal irrigation canal was used as a trench by cutting and enveloping with surrounding trees as pillars and covering it with tonnes of soil from top to make it safe against any form of external attacks. This also restricted the local farming communities from having access to irrigation water and agricultural lands. The closure of this irrigation canal that spans more than 25 km, resulted in more than 1,600 hectares of agriculture lands being cut-off from assured irrigation with high adverse impacts on the livelihoods of more than 1,200 households.

The population in Uruzgan, particularly in this area is highly dependent on agriculture and livestock to make a living. This coupled with the various recent shocks including the COVID-19 crisis, the continued conflict, unemployment, blockage of roads and complete besieging of some districts with no exemption for access to the basic commodities coupled with the traditional agriculture practices, damaged irrigation systems, the inability of access to irrigation water and agricultural lands, lack of access to certified seeds, and traditional food sources have adversely impacted food and livelihoods security in Uruzgan province. According to the recent Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) analysis report of November 2020, Uruzgan province has been classified as IPC Phase 4 with 45 percent of its total population facing acute food insecurity (IPC Phase 3 and above).