About 70 percent of Afghans do not have access to safe drinking water, a government minister said Tuesday at the opening of the first of a chain of hydrological stations to monitor water supply.
"Only 30 percent of people have access to the safe drinking water while in rural areas it's only 15 percent," Deputy Minister for Energy and Water Shojaudin Ziaie said at the event at Qargha dam just outside Kabul.
The Qargha hydrological station is the first of 174 to be erected across Afghanistan to measure water resources, including rainfall, as well as water quality and levels, Ziaie said.
The 6.8-million-dollar World Bank funded-project will help scientists collect data about water resources over a period of about two years.
After three decades of war, Afghanistan is one of the poorest countries in the world and lacks basic infrastructure for its people.
It is also plagued by drought, with UN officials warning last month of new water shortages with winter rains and snowfalls not as heavy as necessary.