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Tribal structures in Kandahar Province

Updated January 17, 2019

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Tribal structures in Kandahar Province essay

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Tribal structures in Kandahar Province: Pashtuns comprise the major ethnic group in Kandahar and Pashto is spoken by about 98% of its population. Dari and Balochi are also commonly spoken in the province.

Kandahar’s major tribes are the Popalzai (of which President Karzai and his family are members), the Barakzai, the Alkozai, the Noorzai and the Alezai. The tribal structure is complex and deeply rooted – such allegiances are often important considerations when political appointments are made. The tribe is an underlying social factor in Kandahar, but its importance for Kandahar’s politics and security can be overestimated. Kandahar’s tribes are not unified political entities.

Almost all political leaders in Kandahar claim to be tribal elders. Control over guns, money, and connections to the state have become far more important. if the tribe is not the central driver of politics in Kandahar, however, it is the terrain on which Kandahar’s political battles are fought. Therefore, understanding tribal and ethnic structures is an important aspect for the project staff, where keeping balance among the tribal representation is key to the success of a project and program. Politics and Power Dynamics: While most actors in Kandahar call themselves tribal leaders, few influential actors in Kandahar derive their influence from their positions.

control over guns, money, and foreign support have become more important as sources of power. Influential actors in Kandahar nevertheless attempt to maintain influence over the tribal system and often organize their networks, militias, and cartels along tribal lines. The power structure in Kandahar province is divided among various entities and tribes, which need a comprehensive power analysis to be done. There is a feeling among residents of Arghandab district that, despite their close proximity to the provincial capital, they are largely neglected by the central government. Given their relative population and the historical prominence of the tribe, they have a reasonable expectation of playing a larger role.

Yet the Alokozai have weak links to Kabul and, despite the influence of the late Mullah Naqib, they have largely been excluded from the provincial government. The last influential Alokozai in the provincial government was Khan Mohammad, who served as police chief for the province from 2009 until his assassination in 2011. The Karzai and Sherzai’s families and the police commander of Kandahar province (Abdul Razaq) are among the people that can positively or negatively influence the project depend on the project how they can handle it. The existence of various patronage networks on ethnic lines may be an issue of concern for the project.

The existence of various power holders and their competition for the resources and power can put severe impacts over the projects. These power holders can impose severe pressure to involve them or their groups under the project or searching their interest and or involving them in the project related procurement or hiring their companies and firms to provide services under the project. IDPs and Refugees in Kandahar Province: Overall, Kandahar province hosts a total inflow of 257,899 returnees and IDPs, of which 70% are IDPs and 30% are returnees. Although Kandahar district hosts the most displaced persons (94,631), the most affected settlement is Marofian Kalay in Spinboldak, which hosts 22,395 IDPs and returnees. Kandahar city has become a haven not only for rural Kandaharis, but also for tens of thousands of internally displaced persons (IDPs) from Uruzgan and Helmand provinces.

The most credible estimates suggest the city’s population has more than doubled in the last five years to around 800,000, though some estimates suggest the city’s population is as high as two million. The involvement of IDPs and refugees and other disadvantaged groups such as ethnic and tribal minorities and women groups might be the potential areas which need to be assessed during the FCAS Assessment for the MFF and especially for tranche first. Water scarcity: Farmers and gardeners from several districts of southern Kandahar province are worried water shortages ile some of the towns are going without water, others are faced with an acute scarcity of the resource. The water level of Dalah dam, which irrigates most of farmlands in Arghandab, Shah Walikot, Zherai, Panjwai, Maiwand, Dand and Daman districts, has considerably fallen due to which farmers in the above mentioned districts are receiving very little or no water at all.

This shortage of water is taking a heavy toll on their crops, and orchards, causing them severe economic losses. Shortage of water in the above mentioned districts further intensify the water management related disputes especially between up and downstream communities. In order to reduce chance for such conflicts over the water management issues, a proper FCAS assessment need to be conducted during the processing stage of the first tranche of the MFF and identify how the existing water management capacities could be promoted and what strategies are need to be adopted to empower local capacities to manage water related conflicts. Resettlement: As the first tranche of the MFF would mainly effect the upstream and downstream communities in term of replacement and resettlement and increase in water amount for irrigation, therefore the project would need to conduct an FCAS assessment especially focusing the resettlement process. The project need to assess options of where these replace communities would be settled.

As there are possibilities to resettle the replace communities in the downstream areas, and if yes, what would be possible FCAS impacts of resettling them in the downstream areas. i.e. overburdening of the resources in the downstream communities, the interaction of different ethnic and tribal groups and internal conflicts issue and etc.

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Tribal structures in Kandahar Province. (2019, Jan 26). Retrieved from