The first settlers dug shallow wells tapping into the underground water. A decade on deep wells have been installed and fuelled by imported solar technology the water table is falling rapidly. In parallel herbicides imported from China and Iran have supported ever increasing amounts of opium poppy to be grown. Without the illicit opium crop none of these developments would have taken place; the land would still be bare and there would be even larger numbers of rural Afghans either attempting to seek out an existence in the increasingly congested cities of Kabul and Kandahar or migrating to Europe in search of a livelihood. But what is to become of this land and those that live there? Surely it is only a question of time before the area once again returns to desert? And what will happen to those farmers that have made these former deserts their home when the water eventually runs out?
An exhibition of photos and objects ran from Monday 20 - Saturday 25 February 2017, but you can see a selection of images via the LSE IDEAS Facebook page. You can also listen to a podcast of a discussion on the topic of this exhibition which was held on Friday 24 February.
LSE IDEAS (@LSEIDEAS) is a foreign policy think-tank within LSE's Institute for Global Affairs.
This event forms part of the LSE Space for Thought Literary Festival 2017, taking place from Monday 20 - Saturday 25 February 2017, with the theme "Revolutions".