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Afghanistan is a completely landlocked nation full of rugged mountains and only 12% of arable land, meaning the land able to be used for crops is extremely low. The country is only 652,230 sq. km large, slightly smaller than Texas; out of that land only 31,990 sq. km is irrigated land suitable for growing crops. The Hindu Kush mountain range runs from the northeast to the southwest greatly dividing the northern and southern regions of the country. Extremely cold winters create a good level of snowpack that melts into Afghanistan’s rivers and lakes. Although Afghanistan looses roughly two thirds of the water that starts in its country.  This along with the extremely hot summers has created a massive drought over the past       .                                                                   couple of years (Afghanistan, 2011).



The nation gets a great deal of snow through out the winter months due to the extreme conditions of the HIndu Kush mountain range.  As the weather warms the snow-pack melts providing water for the country, the problem lies in the fact that only 1/3 of this water stays within the countries borders. Most of the original water flows straight to neighboring countries such as Pakistan and Iran,  the water that does stay winds it's way through a rudimentary irrigation system.  This has made it hard for the farmers of Afghanistan,  forcing the government to ask for a 12 million dollar investment in order to make better use of the nations water supply. 

National Geographic Drought map(2001)

Conflict Damages

Constant conflict has left Afghanistan’s environment extremely damaged, most of the nations forested regions have been chopped down and used by invading troops leaving a great deal of animals endangered or extinct.  Less than 2% of the countries land is forested, 13% less than the minimum for a healthy environment.  (Trading Economics, 2011). With large portions of the population unemployed, chopping wood is a lucrative task to start, although it is labeled illegal by the government there is a large amount of criminal activity exporting the countries valuable wood.  The many battles fought on the countries land has left large portions of territory uninhabitable due to left over land mines and unexploded bombs.  This is good because it keeps people out of endangered species way but just as dangerous for the animals because most bombs and mines are still able to explode. Conflict takes a large tole on a countries environment and with out a stable government it will be near impossible for Afghanistan to recover from such devastation(Kamber,2002).


    • Afghanistan. (2011). The World Factbook. Retrieved September 26, 2011, from
    • Kamber, M. (2002, March 6). Afghanistan's Environmental Casualties | Mother Jones.Mother Jones | Smart, Fearless Journalism. Retrieved September 26, 2011, from
    • National Geographic: Afghanistan interactive map. (2001, November 15). Internet Archive: Wayback Machine. Retrieved September 26, 2011, from
    • Permanent cropland (% of land area) in Afghanistan . (2011) - Economic Data for 196 Countries . Retrieved September 26, 2011, from