Irrigation system led by slain Japanese doctor completed in Afghanistan

A new irrigation canal has been completed in Afghanistan with the support of a non-governmental organization that carries on the effort led by late Japanese doctor Nakamura Tetsu.

Nakamura was gunned down in Afghanistan in 2019 after providing humanitarian support there for many years. It remains unclear who killed him for what reason. An investigation has stalled since before and after the Taliban returned to power in 2021.

The Japanese NGO Peshawar-kai, which was represented in Afghanistan by Nakamura, continues its activity in the country.

An inauguration ceremony was held in the eastern province of Nangarhar on Saturday with Taliban officials and local residents attending. It took about a year and a half to finish the canal construction.

Acting Minister of Energy and Water Abdul Latif Mansoor said the members of the Japanese NGO have accomplished an incredible feat of sending water from afar and storing it. He thanked the group for not forgetting the people of Afghanistan but feeling their pain and helping them.

The local affiliate of the Islamic State militant group once expanded its clout in the area, killing locals and turning farm fields into barren land. Local people have been suffering from food shortages due to prolonged drought.

The new canal is expected to help improve the lives of about 14,000 local residents as well as farming.

Fujita Chiyoko of Peshawar-kai said drought is getting worse in Afghanistan. She added her group will continue its activity to help many people acquire the irrigation method established by Dr. Nakamura and apply it to hard-hit areas.