|History and Biodata
Karzai Clan Interests in Dahla Dam Project Kandahar:
One of the most lucrative projects in the region is Canada's rehabilitation of the Dahla dam and irrigation works which were originally constructed by the US in the 1950s. Land values are expected to increase dramatically in the Arghandab river valley which the dam serves. Karzai businesses are also set to acquire multiple patronage benefits from Dahla dam construction and security contracts, but the main prize will be political control over long-term allocation of water flows. It is no accident that Ahmad Wali Karzai AWK lobbied the project's Canadian sponsors on behalf of the Watan Group, the eventual winner of the Dahla dam security contract, whose CEO is his cousin, US national Rashid Popal. 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. 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. Dahla's hydro plant is only partly operable due to wear and tear, and silting of the reservoir.