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Kajaki Dam: USD300 Million spent and still not complete

Reasons asked why a major hydroelectric power plant sits unfinished

19 January 2016 – Helmand Province, Southern Afghanistan – A new resource has been added to the PM World Library related to a hydroelectric dam that was built piecemeal to relieve the electrical shortfall in Southern Afghanistan. The herculean effort was for USAID’s marquee reconstruction project, the Kajaki Dam. This project has been a 10-year effort with various external influences hampering the progress of the project. The area of the project is known to be a stronghold of Taliban forces and Russian invasion.

160120 - Mitchell - Kajaki Dam 2“The five-day mission was dangerous and grueling. Thousands of troops hauled a 220-ton turbine piecemeal on trucks the entire length of a Taliban-infested province in southern Afghanistan. The feat was hailed by the British military as on par with the logistics of World War II and cost about $1 million”.

“Trumpeted as a symbol of America’s visionary support for Afghanistan, the dam has become instead a monument for all that has gone wrong: Project planners were overly ambitious, oblivious to conditions on the ground and unable to meet key deadlines or keep costs from ballooning. For the Afghans, it meant that promises were broken. For American taxpayers, upwards of $300 million could end up wasted. The Kajaki Dam was built in the rugged, rural north of Helmand Province in the 1950s during America’s first push to make Afghanistan a modern country and an ally. The U.S. turned it into a hydroelectric power station in the 1970s, but abandoned the project before completion when the Russians invaded in 1979.”

To access this new resource, go to, click on “Failed Projects”, scroll down to Afghanistan and click on “Kajaki Dam USD300 million spent and still not complete”. Must be a registered member to access.

Posted by: Gary Mitchell