ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif presided over a groundbreaking ceremony on Friday to mark the beginning of construction of the US-funded Kaitu Weir component of the Kurram Tangi Dam project.
The American government provided $81 million through USAID to the Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) for the construction of the Kaitu Weir in the North Waziristan Agency of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA).
The groundbreaking ceremony was held at the project site near Spinwam. Pakistani officials thanked the US government for its continued support to this project and many others that boost Pakistan’s energy sector.
American Ambassador to Pakistan David Hale called this a historic event that highlights US support to resolve Pakistan’s energy crises and to bring economic development in the most underdeveloped areas of Pakistan.
The American people are supporting the Government of Pakistan’s goal of providing sustainable energy to the people of Pakistan, Ambassador Hale said.
Reliable water and energy sources are essential to the development of sustainable commercial and industrial activities. This project is another step in that direction.
The Kurram Tangi Dam will bring economic development and employment to the region, thereby reducing poverty.
The Kaitu Weir is Stage 1 of the larger Kurram Tangi Dam Project. By completing the first stage, the American and Pakistani partnership will provide irrigation to approximately 16,000 acres of land and will produce 18 MW of hydropower.
Specific work under Stage 1 includes the construction of a weir on the Kaitu River, excavation of the Shertalla and Spairaga canals, and the installation of two powerhouses and a transmission line.
Since 2011, over 28 million Pakistanis have benefited from USAID’s efforts to add more than 2,400 megawatts of electricity to the national grid.
This total includes 1,013 megawatts from new or rehabilitated dams and thermal power plants, and 1,447 megawatts from improvements in the transmission and distribution system.