Badghis Province

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Province of Afghanistan
A village in Badghis
A village in Badghis
Location within Afghanistan
Location within Afghanistan
Districts prior to 2005 realignment
Districts prior to 2005 realignment
Coordinates: 35°0′N 63°45′E / 35.000°N 63.750°E / 35.000; 63.750Coordinates: 35°0′N 63°45′E / 35.000°N 63.750°E / 35.000; 63.750
Country  Afghanistan
Provincial seat Qala i Naw
 • Governor Jamaluddin Ishaq
 • Total 20,590.6 km2 (7,950.1 sq mi)
 • Water 0 km2 (0 sq mi)
Population (2013)[1]
 • Total 499,393
 • Density 20.9/km2 (54/sq mi)
 • Ethnic groups Tajiks, Pashtuns, Uzbeks, Turkmen
 • Languages Dari Persian, Pashto, Turkmen
ISO 3166 code AF-BDG

Bādghīs (Pashto/Persian: بادغیس‎‎) is one of the thirty-four provinces of Afghanistan, located in the northwest of the country next to Turkmenistan. The name means "home of the winds" in Persian and Pashto languages, referring to the steppe winds that blow into the province from the north and northwest. Badghis is irrigated by the Murghab and Hari rivers. Its northern border extends to the edge of the desert of Sarakhs. Badghis includes the Chul formations through which the Turkmen-Afghan boundary runs.[2] The province was carved out of portions of Herat Province and Meymaneh Province in 1964 and has a total area of 20,591 km2.[3] It is counted as one of the most underdeveloped of the country's 34 provinces. Qala i Naw, a small town halfway between Maimana and Herat, serves as the provincial center.


The province was one of the last captured by the Taliban in their military offensive before the American invasion in 2001. The province was quickly retaken by Northern Alliance forces as the United States initiated hostilities, which was followed by a brutal cleansing of the Pashtun minority in the province.

Various influential warlords have traded control of the province in recent years, including: General Abdul Rashid Dostum, Abdul Zahir Naibzadah, Gul Mohammad Arifi, Mohammad Yaqoub Sorkhabi and Qazi Sulaiman Hamid. During the fight against the Taliban, the Northern Alliance commanders received military aid from Shi'ite Iran, fearful of the Sunni Taliban. In one notable incident, Malik temporarily switched his allegiances from Dostum, allowing the Taliban to gain control of the province.


Further information: List of governors of Badghis

The current Governor of the province is Jamaluddin Ishaq.

At the province is a Provincial Reconstruction Team, which is led by Spain.


Agriculture is the main source of people's income and the existence of Murghab and Hari rivers makes the available land suitable for cultivation. The province faced severe drought during the late 1990s and early 2000s, causing tens of thousands of residents to flee to refugee camps outside Herat. The situation has since improved.[4] Badghis is the leading province in Afghanistan in pistachio production. It is also one of the carpet-making capitals of the country.


Badghis Province suffers from a lack of adequate transportation. A single airport exists at the provincial seat--Qala i Naw Airport (QAQN), which is capable of handling light aircraft.[5] Work on a 233 km section of the Afghan ring road has started in 2012.[6] This will connect Herat to Mazar-i Sharif and open up Badghis to the rest of Afghanistan. This section goes from Laman in Herat Province to Qaisar in Faryab Province, through Qala-i Nao, Muqur, Bala Murghab and Ghormach. It is scheduled for completion in 2016. The Asian Development Bank has agreed to fund the estimated $ 397 million that this project will cost.[7] The construction of this road has been undertaken by a joint venture between an American road engineering firm and a Turkish construction company. This project will provide employment opportunities to more ten thousand people in this province.


The percentage of households with clean drinking water fell from 11.6% in 2005 to 1% in 2011.[8] The percentage of births attended to by a skilled birth attendant increased from 15% in 2005 to 17% in 2011. [9]


The overall literacy rate (6+ years of age) fell from 11% in 2005 to 9% in 2011. [10] The overall net enrolment rate (6-13 years of age) increased from 19% in 2005 to 30% in 2011. [11]


Badghis Province is located in the isolated hills of northwestern Afghanistan and shares its borders with Herat, Ghor, and Faryab provinces as well as Turkmenistan. The province is dominated by the Murghab River in the north and the Hari-Rud River in the south.



Like in the rest of Afghanistan, no exact population numbers are available. According to AIMS and NPS, the population of Badghis consists of 62% Tajik, 28% Pashtun, 5% Uzbek, 3% Turkmen, and 2% Baloch.[12]


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