Local officials from Takhar province said on Friday that Tajiksitan has claimed dozens of hectares of land along the Amu River which connects the two countries.
Head of Borders and Tribal Affairs Provincial Department, Jan Mohammad Nabi Zada, said the problem cropped up due to the lack of a retainer walls along the river Afghanistan.
“Residents of Takhar’s bordering districts take their cattle for grazing or go there to collect wood but they are now fired on by Tajikistan border forces and in some cases they are killed or wounded. In fact, they [Takhar residents] walk on their own soil but Tajikistan claims the ownership of that soil,” he said.
He added that a lack of retainer walls on the Afghanistan side, along the river, has added to the problem of residents in the areas – most of whom farm.
“A large area of land has been washed away by Amu River from Afghanistan side due to lack of retainer walls. Tajikistan has retainer walls; therefore, the water comes towards Afghan soil. This has damaged lots of agricultural land and gardens related to Afghans,” he stated.
Meanwhile, Salim Akbar, head of Taluqan River Zone, said they are trying to build the retainer wall in order to prevent further damage to agricultural land belonging to Takhar farmers.
“Work on the protection walls was stopped due to insecurity. We are waiting for a secure situation and once the area is secure we will resume our work,” he added.
Tajikistan shares a border with Chah Ab, Darqad, Yangi Qala and Dasht Qala districts in Takhar province which often facees this problem due to the lack of protection walls in the area.