The development of infrastructure around the production of power is a key topic on the Brussels Summit agenda – and one which Afghan stakeholders hope the international community will take seriously.
Wahidullah Tawhidi, spokesman for Da Afghanistan Breshna Sherkat (DABS), said on Thursday that currently 80 percent of power is imported and that in the next two years this will increase to 90 percent.
According to DABS, Afghanistan has the capacity to produce 125,000 megawatts of thermal and hydro power, but currently produces only 20 percent of this in hydro power.
DABS also said that government will discuss the issue of infrastructure within this sector, particularly that of hydro-electric dams, at the summit.
“We import 80 percent of power which we pay money for. In the next two years this (demand) will increase to 90 percent,” said Tawhidi.
Meanwhile, a number of analysts have blasted government, especially DABS, for not focusing on the development needs around infrastructure and said government and DABS have not done enough to generate more hydro power.
“Now Afghanistan, in terms of its geopolitical position, is at the center of world attention and the international community has plans to help Afghanistan,” said Mohammad Massoud, economic lecturer at Kabul University.
“The international community helps Afghanistan, but has some requests from the national unity government (NUG). They want corruption to be eradicated, transparency must be implemented and money should be spent properly,” said Walwalji, a political analyst.
But DABS has said that it distributes power equally to the people. This comes in the wake of criticism that powerful people get more electricity than others in certain areas.
“We see that even big cities do not have regular electricity. Power is not distributed equally to all the people. People have lots of problems in this regard,” said Khan Zaman Amarkhil, a resident of Kabul.
Afghanistan needs 7,000 megawatts of power and currently Naghlo Dam in Surobi district of Kabul produces 80 megawatts, Salma Dam in Herat province produces 40 megawatts and Kajaki Dam in Helmand province produces 51 megawatts. But plans are in place for Bagh Dara Dam in Kapisa and Parwan dam to produce an additional 280 megawatts of power over the next five years.