July 14, 2008 09:45 ET

Government of Canada Launches Request for Bids on Afghanistan Dahla Dam Project

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - July 14, 2008) - Today, the Government of Canada announced that it is seeking bids from Canadian-based companies to lead on repairs to the Dahla Dam in Kandahar province - one of Canada's signature projects in Afghanistan. Rehabilitation of the dam supports one of Canada's key priorities in the country, which is to build capacity to provide basic services - in this case, water - to the Afghan people.

A request for proposals has been posted to MERX, an online tendering service for government contracts, to identify a Canadian-based firm which will coordinate and manage repairs to the existing dam and irrigation system, as well as key activities to support development of the agriculture sector in Kandahar province. Canada's assistance will support the Government of Afghanistan's long-term plans for the overall project.

"This request for proposals is the first step in delivering on one of Canada's new signature projects in Afghanistan," said the Honourable Beverley J. Oda, Minister of International Cooperation. "The Dahla Dam initiative will improve the lives of Afghans living in Kandahar province by providing them with a secure water supply, jobs, and the capacity to increase agricultural productivity."

"The first phase of the project is being undertaken with the generous contribution of the Government of Canada whose support will include vital repairs to existing infrastructure and activities strengthening local agricultural institutions," said His Excellency Minister Ismail Khan, Afghanistan's Ministry of Energy and Water. "Kandahar was once famous for its agricultural production and a reliable supply of water for irrigation is essential to restoring a stable economy in this region."

This project is a joint initiative by the Afghan Ministries of Energy and Water; Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock; and Rural Rehabilitation and Development, and will provide significant and sustained investment for the region.

The Dahla Dam, located on the Arghandab River, is the second largest dam in the country and is the most vital piece of agriculture infrastructure in Kandahar province. Over the years, the Dahla Dam has suffered extensive deterioration due to years of civil war and neglect. The result has been a decreased capacity in the control of water flow from the dam to surrounding districts, impacting both crop production and irrigation capacity. The ability to control water flow in an arid province like Kandahar is critical to ensuring a sustainable agricultural economy.

The successful firm will be responsible for managing, coordinating and providing oversight on overall project delivery. Key activities will include:

- Repairs to the Dahla Dam, including replacing generators and repairing water valves to improve the control of water flow;

- Fixing gates to control the flow of water from the Arghandab River into the canal system;

- Repairs to the canals, including de-silting;

- Support for agricultural development including helping improve local water resource management and training on new crop production techniques.

Canada will work in close cooperation with the Government of Afghanistan to make much-needed repairs to the Dahla Dam, a key priority for the country's government. This project will generate up to 10,000 seasonal jobs for local Afghans and provide farmers with 10,000 hectares of irrigated land.

Canada is investing up to $50 million over the next three years on the initiative.

The full RFP can be accessed via the following link:

For more information, please visit the website

Contact Information

  • Office of the Minister of International Cooperation
    Joanna Bailey
    Press Secretary
    Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA)
    Media Relations Office