Proposal for Water Irrigation Schemes in Chimtal District, Balkh Province for 3,170 families

ONLY 7.00 per family will give arable land providing food for about 20 people per family for years to come and make them self supporting TOO

Balkh is one of the thirty-four provinces of Afghanistan. It is located in the north of the country and derives its name from the ancient city of Balkh, near the modern town of Mazar-i-Sharif. Its capital is Mazar-e Sharif and has a total of 15 districts. Tajiks make up the majority of the province.

On the 8th August 1998 during a callous attack by the Taliban on the capital Mazar-i-Sharif 10,000 to 11,000 people were massacred in the period of 4 days. This has left countless number of widows and orphaned children in the wake of the attack, many sought refuge in neighbouring countries. Currently these widows and orphans are desperately in need of food and water for their daily rations. Many widows have a meagre income from which to feed and

support their families.

As in the rest of Afghanistan, Balkh too is facing major drought adding to the desperate plight of

the both poor and widowed families who remained after the attack.

There are two dist

ricts of Chimtal and Dawlatabad that we have identified as locations that require water irrigation projects which will enable the fertile land to be farmed successfully.  We would like to begin with Chimtal, followed by Dawlatabad.

It is the district of Chimtal (60km south west of Mazar City) that we would like to begin with the installation of five water irrigation schemes.  Given the ongoing drought the land has become very parched, leading to much farmland becoming disused with many crops failing.    But there is huge potential here as the land is very fertile as recent rains as shown that with the appropriate rainfall plants and trees can survive and even thrive. The installation of a water irrigation scheme will mean that the opportunity to grow suddenly is there and the future immediately becomes full of hope, particularly as the land is fertile.  The water irrigation scheme will also provide clean and safe water for domestic use, thus relieving the burden of walking long distances to fetch water or relying on the melted snow for drinking and cooking. Overall we have identified 21 villages that would benefit both water irrigation schemes and microfinance initiatives.  These villages are fairly large and more densely populated than in other parts of Afghanistan, so the potential impact of the water irrigation scheme will mean many more men, women and children will be able to have safe and clean water for household use and given the generally good arable and fertile land, the potential to produce good crops is considerable. Villages After much discussion with community representatives we have identified five villages that would immediately benefit from the installation of a water irrigation scheme.  These lead community representatives from the five villages will lead each village management committee who will be responsible for maintenance and fair usage:  Abdul Palawan; Awazbhai; Syed Nasir; Syed Hassan; Rajab ali Sharafi. A total of 3,170 families would benefit the installation of five water irrigation schemes.
Name of village

No of families

Land (Jebrib) 

Irrigation Scheme per area









Nawabad Palow




Nawabad Baithamor




Karai Baithamor








As in many parts of Afghanistan many of the families rely on agriculture for their main source of income but when the land becomes parched, farming the land becomes impossible.  So alternative sources of income range from traditional carpet marking and kilim carpet marking; some travel to Mazar City to work as manual labourers and for seasonal work.   There is a tradition in this area of animal husbandry and so there is wealth of experience within the locale. Once the farmland is being regularly fed with water the potential crops that can be cultivated are:
  • Maize
  • Wheat
  • Barley
  • Dahl (various)
  • Beans
  • Cotton
  • Okra
  • Potatoes
  • Tomatoes
  • Cauliflower
  • Rice
  • Watermelon
  • Honeydew melon
  • Apples
  • Grapes
  • Pomegranate
Tube Well The process of constructing the tube well is in three phases:
  • Boring the water well
  • Constructing the reservoir and
  • Constructing the irrigation canals
Firstly, the government engineer together with the local farmers determines the best location suitable for the installation of the well then we enter the first stage of boring the water well. The process being that a large and deep hole will be excavated with an outer ring and then an inner ring will enable the steel tube that would connect the submersible pump to be built. The depth of boring is estimated at approximately 210m (there is possibility of boring to a depth of 250m) down – the water table is much deeper in this region as compared to Herat which is shallower. The second stage is the construction of the reservoir which involves building a solid concrete foundation with the excavation of the ground 1m deep, laying the metal rods for support and raising the walls of the reservoir. The overall size of the reservoir would be 20 metres in length x 12 metres wide x 2 metres deep and has the capacity to hold a maximum of 480,000 litres of water. The next stage would involve digging the troughs for the irrigation canals. There would be 3 controlling pools connected to 4 inch pipes from the reservoir. These pipes are in then channelled to the hand dug troughs leading to parcels of land that would benefit from this project.  The size of these troughs would be half metre deep and half metre wide to make sure that the water is channelled properly and wastage is kept to the minimum. On completion of this project, the maintenance of the water well and the reservoir would be done by the farmers. This responsibility would be undertaken by the local community management committee. This project should be completed in 6-8 weeks. Budget


Unit Price (Afghani rupees)

Total Price (Afghani rupees)






230 sacks

348 per sack



30 trucks

1,000 per truck


Piping (10” Filter PVC)

210 metres

820 per metre


Piping 4”

210 metres

185 per metre



210 metres




12.5 trucks

1,600 per truck


Wall Construction




Transport of Equipment

6 trucks

3333.34 per truck


Metal rods

1.5 tonnes

60,000 per ton


Submersible Water Pump (Made in Italy)








Labour (install filter)

5 people

1,500 per person


Food (labourers)

30 days

230 per day



R1,506,450.00 £21,832.61

Exchange Rate: £1 = 69 Afghani Rupees
Impact of Water Irrigation Scheme
Giving people the means to provide for themselves is one of the best ways to empower an individual. The provision of this irrigation channels would generate crops which can be sold for income, food for the families as well as water for their livestock. The difference this project will make to the lives of these families is immeasurable; mothers do not have to worry about feeding their children, fathers do not have to go into poppy farming and sons do not have to migrate as refugees to neighbouring countries to seek odd jobs. The installation of this tube well creates a natural opportunity for households to have water. They would be able to go with buckets and containers and fill up the water themselves. The committee would need to control and manage this. Summary
  • Properly irrigated farm land produces bigger harvest and better crops
  • Properly irrigated farm land increases the opportunity for better levels of income and better health
  • It only costs £7.00 to provide 1 family with irrigated arable farm land hence potentially providing food for about 20 people

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