Qosh Tepa Canal Will Lead To Water Crisis in Central Asia, Says European Economist

Thursday, 11/16/2023

Evgeny Vinokurov , the chief economist of the Eurasian Development Bank, has warned that the establishment of the Qosh Tepa canal by the Taliban will lead to a water crisis in Central Asia.

Vinokurov said that the canal would reduce the water supply of the Amu River and affect the regional water agreements.

Kazakh media outlets quoted the chief economist of the Eurasian Development Bank and reported that according to forecasts, Central Asia will face a chronic water shortage by 2028.

He said at a round table conference in Almaty on Thursday, "The Taliban is now building the Qosh Tepa canal and its inauguration is planned for 2028, which will reduce the flow of river water in Central Asia."

Qosh Tepa Canal is one of the largest water transfer canals in Afghanistan and the region, which starts from Kaldar district in Balkh province and will transfer the water of the Amu river to Andkhoi district of Faryab province.

Earlier, Shavkat Mirziyoyev, the president of Uzbekistan, had warned that the construction of the Qosh Tepa Canal by the Taliban could fundamentally change the water regime in Central Asia.

Despite the criticism, the Taliban has continued to build the canal. Recently, the group announced the construction of the second phase canal in Afghanistan.

During a ceremony to celebrate the start of the second phase of the canal, Mullah Yaqoob, the Taliban's defence minister, said in a statement that seemed to be a response to Uzbekistan, "Neighbours should not worry, we will never violate the rights of our neighbours in using the water of Amu Darya."

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