Canada in Kandahar
Ii was just announced that the new governor of Kandahar province in Afghanistan is an Afghan Canadian academic, Dr. Tooryala Wesa. He grew up in Kandahar and he is a member of the same Pastun tribe as President Karsai. Before he moved to Canada he had been the first President of Kandahar University. He is an agricultural specialist and speaks all the local languages.
He appears to be a good choice for Afghanistan and Canada. It is in Kandahar the Canadian soldiers have been working to establish security so that reconstruction projects can get developed. They have done a good job, sometimes having to do some heavy fighting along with the Afghan Army. Canada has had 103 soldiers and one diplomat killed so far. (This is the highest percentage of losses by any Country in the NATO coalition supporting the Afghanistan government.)
Just north and east of Kandahar city is the Arghandab River Valley. This past year there has been a struggle to drive the insurgency out of this area and secure it for the government. it is a major agricultural area.
It is in this area that Canada is making a major contribution to the reconstruction of Afghanistan. There is a $50 million dollar project to refurbish the Duhla Dam on the river. This dam is very inportant for the river valley which is an agricultural breadbasket for the country. With a refurbished dam and reconstruction of the irrigation system in the valley the agriculture will flourish. In this valley there is wheat, fruit, grapes, marijuna (that weed grows evrywhere). It has historically been a place for growing some of the best pomegranets in the World. It has the potential of being worthy of the name it has often been call, "Shangri-la".
Dr Wesa is ideally suited to help with the agricultural improvement in this area.
Part of the Arghandab River Valley