Kajaki Dam Will Not Finish Before 2015: Officials

News - Afghanistan


Officials of the Kajaki Dam and its accompanying hydroelectric power station have said that the construction work, which was supposed to have been completed seven years ago, will not be completed before 2015.

The $500 million project will provide electricity to 332,000 people and irrigate thousands of acres of land. But the project has been delayed by poor security in the province.

"The work [depends on] the security situation. If our security situation was good then we can do more, we can work more for our people, for our country, for our area and for our provinces," said Sayed Rasool, chief engineer of the Kajaki Dam project.

The concerns come as American troops stationed in the area seemed optimistic about the project.

"The security in Kajaki has been steadily improving. There have been ebbs and there has been flows -- as there are in just about everything -- but it's been steadily improving and I say I am optimistic," said Glen Baker, a US Marine stationed in the area to advise Afghan troops.

But residents of the area, who have seen the project stumble over the last seven years, are not convinced by the upbeat projections.

"They have been here for 11 years now, but haven't done a single thing," one resident told TOLOnews.

Engineers are currently installing Kajaki's second power turbine, which costs $103 million. But it is yet unclear when the third turbine will be installed.

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