Inaugurated by Minister of Energy and Water (MEW) of Afghanistan, H.E. Ali Ahmad Osmani, a two-day national level media dialogue on the Indus was held in Kabul in October 2016. A first-of-its-kind initiative, the media dialogue was a great success bringing together over 50 participants from the government, media and research community across different provinces of Afghanistan to understand challenges facing the Indus basin in the context of socio-economic, environmental and hydrological changes.
A two-day engagement, the first day saw sessions where experts like Eng Maroof Masir Director General (Kabul River Basin,MEW), Sayed Sharif Shobair (FAO), Professor Naim Eqrar (Kabul University), Mr Asadullah Milad (MEW), Eng Tayed Bromand (MEW), Jeanne Finestone (Lapis Communications) and Idrees Malyar (Independent researcher) interacted with and made presentations to the journalists. The discussions that ensued were lively, and journalists were quite upfront with their questions to the government officials and other experts. On the second day, the team organized a field trip to Qargha dam with the help of MEW officials who explained to the group the basics of water storage, dams and general implications upstream and downstream. The officials also showed the group a weather monitoring station installed at the site and explained the workings. The group gathered post-lunch to discuss how to construct possible story ideas on issues being discussed. Feedback was provided to each story idea by Omair from Third Pole and other experts present.