Water Resources and Irrigation Policy in Afghanistan: Ownership of Local Societies as a Key to Reconstruction

Kenji Nagata


Reconstruction assistance has been provided to Afghanistan over 14 years since 2002, but public security remains unstable. Afghan’s rural areas, where more than 80% of the country’s population lives, are characterized by the society which has an extremely strong sense of autonomy based on tribalism and warlords. Such agricultural village societies are important in recovery and reconstruction. Stable and sustainable agriculture through water resources development and irrigation holds the key to stabilize local societies. This study compares and analyzes the process and achievements of government/donor-led projects and community-oriented projects on water resources and irrigation. In the former projects, sustainability of irrigation facilities maintained by local societies has become a large issue, although they have contributed in rehabilitating irrigation areas. In the latter projects respecting local society, culture, tradition, religion, tribalism, politics and economics, many positive impacts are observed: farm household income increases, self-governing capacities of local societies are improved, public security is stabilized, and domestic and international refugees return home and settle. More specifically, this study proves community-oriented projects encourage Afghan local societies in recovery and reconstruction. Thus, existing principles and approaches in government/donor-led projects should be converted in to those under the initiative of local societies. Such a paradigm shift would work effectively for the recovery and reconstruction of Afghanistan, and develop the capacity and establish the ownership in the local societies.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.11114/ijsss.v4i4.1359


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International Journal of Social Science Studies   ISSN 2324-8033 (Print)   ISSN 2324-8041 (Online)

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