USAID Celebrates Completion of 7.2 km Canal Rehabilitation

USAID hosted a ceremony marking the completion of the Sakha Canal rehabilitation in Baharak District, Badakhshan Province. USAID’s Incentives Driving Economic Alternatives – North, East and West (IDEA-NEW) began rehabilitating the Sakha canal in April 2011. This 7.2 kilometer long canal is the longest irrigation canal in Badakhshan and will ensure a regular flow of water (three cubic meters per second) to 647 hectares of arable land. It will also supply a nearby hydro-power plant with the capacity of one megawatt electricity that will serve 2,400 farming families in seven villages.

This was a priority project for USAID and IDEA-NEW because the existing canal structure was badly damaged by several seasons of flooding, leaving it filled with silt and debris. Without a functioning canal, local farmers struggled to irrigate their crops. USAID assistance funded the dredging, further excavation and widening of the entire canal, reinforced its lining, and covered two kilometers of the canal with stone masonry. A 140 meter retaining wall, six culverts, two super passages and two spillways were also constructed. The project generated 114 full-time jobs for local laborers and a total $215,014 was paid out in wages.

The project supported the development of high-value agriculture and gave workers an opportunity to participate in improving village infrastructure. The Sakha Canal rehabilitation helped fulfill USAID’s objectives of improving access to irrigation and strengthening natural resource-based livelihoods.

USAID is accelerating sustainable economic development in the northeastern region by providing support through a wide variety of projects. This approach is helping to create long-term and sustainable economic development across many sectors.