ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Afghanistan's Sixty Year Old American Project

Updated on May 29, 2012

It could be called the endless American project or the American project interrupted. It all started long before any combat soldier that is fighting there was alive, it was the mid-1940's. That is when America provided the country with funds to create farmland out of deserts from irrigation. That was when President Roosevelt was alive. Then, President Truman took over and gave Afghanistan even more by 1953, a earthen dam. The dam is a 320 ft. in Kajaki, near Kandahar. The water is fresh from the Helmand River and the snow capped mountains of the Hindu Kush. The river combines with the Arghandab River and eventually into Iran. While the dam was being built, American workers and families lived near the construction site. Once completed, there was a pause. It was over a 20 year pause before America continued it, building a power station in 1975 and adding two 16.5 megawatt turbines to provide electricity.

Then, the Soviets invaded in 1979, but left alone a good thing. But everything went into disrepair and the turbines could produce enough power to light the office. When the Soviets left in 1989, the Taliban did not destroy but instead, tried to renovate it using low grade, cheap wires that frequently fizzled. By this time, the turbines could produce half of their normal output. Much of the electricity goes to Helmand and Kandahar provinces, which are oddly partly in control of the Taliban who try their best to deter the Americans. The water canals built back when WW2 was going on help supply water to Helmand's greatest crop-opium poppies! It is here that 50% of the worlds heroin originates from.

In 2001, the Taliban were chased out and the Americans returned. A new generation of Americans who know little of the past. This is when the US decided to finally complete the damn dam despite the dangerous journey getting to it from roadside bombs. But it took time. It was not until 2008, that the third and last turbine and a 18.5 megawatt generator arrived in Kajaki with an escort of 5000 troops and fierce battle.

You would think there is little more to say. Well, the Chinese contractor that was contracted to install it and operate it quit because not all the parts had arrived and he was tired of waiting. Since that time, little more has been done except rust on the newer turbine. It was not until 2011, that the dam area was secured from Taliban fighters. Because America is now on a deadline, the US wants to finally finish the 60 yr. old project at a cost of $266 million to install the last generator and upgrade the station and $205 million to rehab the dam itself and install better power lines.

This hopefully will be done by end of 2014, but, don't hold your breath.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • handymanbill profile image


      6 years ago from western pennsylvania

      You have that right. I agree

    • Pavlo Badovskyy profile image

      Pavlo Badovskyi 

      6 years ago from Kyiv, Ukraine

      Thats an interesting fact! Thank you! As to the country itself my own opinion was and is: both USSR and USA had/has nothing to do there. We are too much different in culture, religion and way of thinking. Let them live their own life. THey lived it hundreds years before we came and will live successfully after we all go back home.

    • FGual profile image


      6 years ago from USA

      The Beatles tune says it all: Money can't buy me Love

    • perrya profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago

      But think of the poppies..........

    • handymanbill profile image


      6 years ago from western pennsylvania

      typical waste of taxpayer funds. Only because it was not thought out before it was started. What a shame.

    • secularist10 profile image


      6 years ago from New York City

      "A new generation of Americans who know little of the past."

      Excellent. This is the key point. Afghanistan has been conquering foreign conquerors for centuries. It is a horrifically complex place with extremely difficult geography.

      This doomed dam is a wonderful microcosm for the American debacle there, complete with inadvertent US support for the enemy--from the water to the heroin.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)