Data on the Shahabzai Dam
Shahabzai dam is the largest
community built dam in Pakistan. This accomplishment was achieved through the
handwork, dedication, and collaboration of Pakistani Americans under the auspices
of Human Development Foundation (HDF) and the people of Shahabzai, alhamdulilah.
Shahabzai dam is situated
about 22 Kilometers from Zhob city and 722 Kilometers from Karachi.
According to Naseebullah,
the Site Engineer of the project, this dam is called "Delay Action Dam",
or "Check Dam," which means that it relies on rainy water.
The construction of the
dam was commenced in October 2000 and completed on July 20th 2001 with a cost
of Rs. 2.2 million ($35,000), of which Rs. 150,000 ($2,500) were contributed
by the local community.
The total catchment area
of this dam is 12 Square Kilometers while its length is 1400 feet. Around 26.5
million gallons of water can be stored in this dam. The height of the embankment
of the dam is 58 feet. The spillway is 44 feet high.
It is estimated that around
10,000 people from 50 villages will benefit by this dam. Usually, Zhob receives
rains in the monsoon season which occurs from middle of July to middle of August.
It receives the second spell in October.
As mentioned earlier, this
is a Delay Action Dam, which totally depends on rains. The rainy water flows
downward and gathers in a huge pool which is made for that purpose.
"This kind of dams
not merely save the rainy water for irrigation and other purposes but also increase
the under-ground water level", Naseebuallh said.
"You know that agriculture
sector in Zhob and the most parts of Balochistan depend on Karez (under-ground
water courses) but unfortunately due to growing decrease in under-ground water
level, this system is not as effective as it was some 10 years ago due to no
rainfall or insufficient rains", he said, adding "This dam will Insh'Allah
also help make the Karez system once again effective".
Two dams of the similar
size were constructed by the Balochistan government, of which one is operative
while other was washed away by a heavy flow of rainy water.
The Margakibzai dam was
completed in October 2000 at Margakibzai village, some 60 Kilometers from Zhob
city and 760 Kilometers from Karachi. The total cost disbursed on this dam was
Rs 16 million ($250,000). The cost was eight times higher than Shahabzai dam.
The dam, due to the poor construction, however, washed away soon after its completion
with the first rain.
Another dam known as "Tang
Dam" was constructed with the same cost at Tang village, of Sub-Division
Kakar Khurasan, about 80 Kilometers off Zhob city and 780 Kilometers from Karachi.
This dam is still in operation.
Construction of the Shahabzai
dam is unique in that it was not only build at one eighth the cost of other
dams, but also in that it had community involvement. Since community has put
forth its money and time, they have a sense of ownership that will help to make
sure that the dam will be maintain as well.