A two-day training on hydro-climatic modelling for engineers from Afghanistan and Pakistan was held in Dubai, U.A.E. in October 2019 as part of Afghanistan Pakistan Partnership Summit project supported by the U.S. Embassy Kabul. The training was a joint project created by one Pakistani and one Afghan participant from the second year of the Summit.
The unique hydrology of the Kabul River Basin, with both Afghanistan and Pakistan being simultaneously upstream and downstream neighbors, raises the potential for increased conflict and mistrust between the two countries if development of the basin is performed unilaterally. The basin is highly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change and adaptation planning is required with authentic climate and hydrological data. However, a majority of the relevant institutions in both countries do not have access to reliable and robust climate data that are useful for supporting adaptation planning due to the lack of technical capacity.
This project aimed to enhance the existing capacity of hydrological engineers from Afghanistan and Pakistan to develop hydro-climatic products based on a common understanding of the data issues and constraints. Another aim was to support climate change adaptation planning in the water sector by using the best available data, tools and methods. The engineers received crucial training on an issue effecting both countries and had the opportunity to network, share their research and build relationships with their counterparts from the other country. The unique role scientists can play to find solutions to critical issues jointly effecting Afghanistan and Pakistan was emphasized throughout the training. Engineers from both sides expressed the dire need for more collaborative efforts similar to this one.