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US to provide $81m for N. Waziristan dam

US to provide $81m for N. Waziristan dam

ISLAMABAD: The United States will provide $81 million to the Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda) for the construction of the Kurram Tangi dam in North Waziristan.

The US Agency for International Development (USAID) and Wapda signed an agreement for stage-1 of the project Kaitu Weir. Minister for Water and Power Khawaja Asif presided over the ceremony where American Ambassador David Hale and Wapda Chairman retired Lt Gen Muzammil Hussain signed the agreement.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr Asif said the USAID’s grant of $81m for the project was a milestone in the civilian assistance programme of the US.

He said the project would boost socio-economic development in the remote areas of North Waziristan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Referring to the increasing need of water and electricity in the country, he said that the government had taken up the challenge of harnessing water and hydropower resources in an upfront manner.

“America and Pakistan have a long history of cooperation in the energy sector,” Ambassador Hale said. “The agreement signed today builds on decades of shared efforts to meet Pakistan’s energy needs and help improve lives of millions of Pakistanis.”

The Wapda chairman thanked the US government and the USAID for supporting Pakistan and the authority for sustainable development of water and hydropower sectors. He said the Kurram Tangi dam project would be constructed in two stages with gross water storage capacity of 1.2 million acre feet (MAF) and electricity generation capacity of 83.4 megawatts (MW). He said the construction work in stage-II of the project would start soon.

The Kaitu Weir is the stage-I of the project. With the completion of this stage, more than 16,000 acres of agricultural land will be irrigated and an additional 18MW of electricity will be produced, which would be enough to benefit 100,000 people.

Published in Dawn, December 15th, 2016

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