Topics: Irrigation, Hydroelectricity, Spillway Pages: 6 (1313 words) Published: March 8, 2013
Project Information Sheet

Kajakai Hydro Power Plant
Kajakai – A critical component of
the South East Transmission
Implementing Partner
Project Start Date
Anticipated Finish Date

May 2004
June 2007

In the great Helmand River Valley of South Eastern
Afghanistan, stands a rock fill dam, bearing testimony to
the commitment that USAID has had over time to the
development of Afghanistan, and the alleviation of acute
regional poverty. This commitment evolved during the late
1940’s with the construction of essential irrigation facilities and supportive infrastructure in the Helmand and
Arghandab River Valleys. It soon translated into the
construction of a regionally vital reservoir storage dam on
the Helmand River in the early 1950’s, the Kajakai
Multipurpose Project, which integrates a numbe r of
extremely essential water storage and release functions,

The generation of additional hydroelectric ener gy at
the Kajakai Hydro Power Plant facilities


Provision of water for both potable and industrial use
to numerous communities situated in the Helmand
River Valley downstream from the Kajakai Dam


The reduction of flooding on the Helmand River and
mitigatio n of consequential damage to hydraulic
structures constructed on downstream river reaches
serving vital irrigation facilities

In 1975, USAID commissioned the initial installation of two
16.5 MW generating units in a powerhouse constructed at
the toe of the dam. This first stage powerhouse was
actually constructed to house three equa lly sized units.

The provision of irrigation water to extensive
agricultural lands in the Helmand River Valley
downstrea m from the existing Kajakai Dam


implementation of Kajakai’s downstream irrigation
facilities. The Bureau’s team of experts was in residence
over a two and one-half year period. This in tense support
was undertaken in an effort to facilitate establishing
agricultural productivity known to be inherent from the
Helmand River reclaimed command areas. For decades
after, water discharging from Kajakai has traversed some
300 miles of downstrea m irrigation canals feeding
essential farmland.

Standing 100 meters (320 feet) in height, spanning 270
meters (887 feet) in length and having a present storage
capacity of 1.2 bi llion cubic meters of water, the Kajakai
Dam creates the largest multi -purpose reservoir in the
country. Irrigation water demands as initially envisioned
were to serve 142,000 hectares, or some 285,000 acres,
of existing downstream agricultural area.
Several years after the completion of the Kajakai Dam, the
US Bureau of Reclamation coordinated the overall
U.S. Agency for International Developm ent

The Kajakai Powerhouse 2004
In October, 2002, USAID, along with international donors
including the World Bank, the Japanese and Canadian
Governments, the UN and European Union, agreed to
undertake a national irrigation and power rehabil itation
program. This National Priority Program was aimed at
restoration of water supply for local communities,
rehabilitating irrigation systems for farmlands and
providing sufficient electrical power for residents,
industries and commerce by harnessing water from
various rivers for the power plant. Increased water and
power supply will enable the country to expand irrigated
farmlands and develop industrial parks, creating jobs for
all Afghans.
Today, USAID is c urrently funding the procurement and
installation of the missing third unit which will have slightly higher output than the other two existing units. USAID is
also funding the rehabilitation of the existing two units
which had deteriorated extensively in their service
Kajakai Hydro Powe r Plant 1

capability during the interven ing period of civil unrest
which persisted from approximately 1979, the year the
Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan,...
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