Opinions

A local view of exploiting mineral reserves

KABUL (Pajhwok): Many Afghans believe the country’s vast mineral wealth continues to be exploited by a limited number of individuals in an unprofessional way. With income from it ending up in private pockets, illegal mining has been a dag on the national exchequer.

Pajhwok Afghan News spoke to a number of residents of different provinces on the issue. Here are some of the views of locals on how the opulent sector should be developed and regulated:

Baghlan province:

Asphyxiation during well digging

All over Afghanistan people mostly use semi-deep wells for getting potable water instead of getting drinking water from pipelines and tube wells.Digging of wells in the country is dangerous and sometime it leads to death.

According to geologists, underground layers have different kinds of gases and welldiggers face multitude of problems during the digging process.

Mining for Economic Revolution

For more than a decade the global community has been struggling to pull Afghanistan out of turmoil and help the war-battered country stands on its own feet, but it seems the struggle is yet to yield enough tangible outcomes.

Besides, the countdown of withdrawal of foreign forces from the country has already started – a move that will challenge the country to navigate a path of achieving economic self-reliance to end much dependency on foreign aid.

Breif history of geological surveys in Afghanistan:

Exploration of natural resources has long history in Afghanistan. The country is known for having rich and vast natural reserves, however, Afghanistan was invisible in the geological map of Eurasia drawn in 1954 except apart of Kabul city which mapped by French geologist during the years 1926-1951.

Geological surveys in the country divided into three phases.

Afghanistan Economic Development and Mines

Writer: Ibrahim Ahmadi

Afghanistan witnessed 11% economic growth in the past ten years.

Back in 2003, Afghanistan economic growth was 15% which valued about $4.592 billion; it was a time when Afghanistan new started development after years in isolation under economic sanctions.

Meanwhile the economic growth in 2011 was 3,2 which valued $16.343 billion which shows that Afghanistan has the capacity of further development and the current opportunities were not utilized effectively.

Illegal demining and weak government writ

Writer: Jafarri

Income:

According to latest information, as many as 12 persons were killed during the demining of coal in the north of Afghanistan.

As illegal extraction of coal had been continuing for the last 50 years, with the machinery used in the mines was 45 years old which was donated by the Swiss government to Afghanistan.

Natural resources of Afghanistan are important assets of the country, which could be better exploited for economic self-reliance of the country.

Is Afghanistan’s Uranium being plundered?

Written by: Usman Hamdard

These days Afghanistan’s minerals become an issue of discussion inside and outside the country soon after the US geologists estimated Afghanistan’s mineral resources as much as $1 trillion.

After US geologists’ estimate, Afghan Minerals and Petroleum Minister Wahidullah Shahran said the unearthed or unexplored Afghanistan minerals are estimated $3 trillion.

He also said a number of other mineral reserves located in insecure areas were not part of the estimate.

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