Canada firms named to manage rehab of Afghanistan’s Dahla Dam

The government of Canada has named two Canadian firms to manage rehabilitation of Afghanistan’s Dahla Dam, an irrigation project with three small hydropower generators.

A joint venture of Canadian engineering and construction group SNC-Lavalin and Canadian consulting firm Hydrosult was named to manage Dahla Dam rehabilitation work. The firms were chosen by the Canadian International Development Agency in a 2008 solicitation. (HNN 7/15/08)

Canada’s Minister of International Cooperation Beverley Oda launched the next phase of work on Dahla January 11. She met in Kandahar’s Arghandab Valley with Kandahar Gov. Tooryalai Wesa and representatives of SNC-Lavalin and Hydrosult.

Canada plans to invest C$50 million (US$41 million) over three years to refurbish the dam and irrigation system as a �signature project� of Canada’s aid to Afghanistan. Built in the 1950s, Dahla’s hydro plant is only partly operable due to wear and tear, and silting of the reservoir.

Titled the Arghandab Irrigation Rehabilitation Project, the work includes repairs to Dahla Dam involving replacement of generators and repair of valves to improve control of water flow. Work also includes fixing gates to control Arghandab River flows into the irrigation canal system. Canals also are to be repaired and desilted.

�This project is an important step in the economic development of the region and will result in thousands of seasonal jobs,� Oda said. �Once the repairs are completed by 2011, the Dahla Dam will provide a stable water supply to Kandaharis, and its irrigation systems will increase the agricultural productivity to benefit all Kandaharis.�

Preparatory road and bridge work is nearing completion, enabling heavy equipment to reach the project site. Work by SNC-Lavalin and Hydrosult is to begin this winter in partnership with the Afghan ministries of Energy and Water, Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock, and Rural Rehabilitation and Development.

SNC-Lavalin and Hydrosult are responsible for managing, coordinating, and overseeing overall project delivery, as well as support for local water resource management and training in new crop production techniques.

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