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Taliban ban on irrigation water leaves crops parched



Taliban ban on irrigation water leaves crops parched

Jul 25, 2017 - 15:39

FAIZABAD (Pajhwok): The Talibaninfo-icon have banned farmers from irrigation water in the Yaftal Payeen district of northeastern Badakhshan province, leaving crops on more than 5,000 acres of land parched.

Imaminfo-icon Ali Hamdami, the district’s administrative chief, confirmed to Pajhwok Afghan News that the militants had restricted the use of irrigation water in five villages of the district. The ban has been in force for two months.

The insurgents had asked farmers that each village should pay them 100,000 afghanis a month in return for irrigation water, he said.

“We sent a group of ulemainfo-icon and elders to the Taliban to resolve the problem and let the irrigation water flow to farmlands in Hozkan, Warang Bala, Warang Payeen, Ghozmargh and Puzal Kharad. The militants agreed but later demanded money from villagers.”

He said people had suffered huge losses and their farms and gardens had gone dry. People did not want to pay the Taliban and conducting a military operation was the only option, the district added.

Col. Tash Mohammad, the district police head, also said the Taliban had agreed with local ulema and elders on Monday to let the water flow to farms, but the rebels attacked the district centre at 2pm and the clash continued until 11pm.

“We are trying to fully clear Yaftal Payeen district of militants and let the people use irrigation water,” he said.

A farmer from Hozkan village said: “I have seven orchards and each has more than a thousand trees, but 45 percent of them have dried after the Taliban restricted us from using irrigation water about two months ago.”

Mohammad Nadir, who owns five gardens in the Ghozmargh village of the district, complained all his gardens had dried. He said residents had repeatedly sought help from officials and police.

“No one in our village is ready to pay money to the Taliban in exchange for irrigation water” he added. The Taliban have not yet commented on the issue, however.



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