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Location within Afghanistan
Districts prior to 2005 realignment
|Provincial seat||Qala i Naw|
|Largest city||Bala Murghab|
|• Total||20,590.6 km2 (7,950.1 sq mi)|
|• Water||0 km2 (0 sq mi)|
|• Density||20.9/km2 (54/sq mi)|
|• Ethnic groups||Tajik, Pashtun, Uzbek, Turkmen, Hazara|
|• Languages||Dari Persian, Pashto, Turkmen|
|Time zone||UTC+4:30 (Afghanistan Time)|
|ISO 3166 code||AF-BDG|
Bādghīs (Dari/Pashto: بادغیس) is one of the thirty-four provinces of Afghanistan, located in the northwest of the country, on the border with Turkmenistan. It is considered to be one of the country's most underdeveloped provinces. The capital is Qala i Naw, while the most populous city and district is Bala Murghab. The ruins of the medieval city of Marw al-Rudh, the historical capital of the medieval region of Gharjistan, are located in the province near the modern city of Bala Murghab.
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 has a total area of 20,591 km2. Hydrologically, the province is dominated by the Murghab River which is used for irrigation.
The province is very windy; the name "Badghis" is a corruption of the Persian compound "bâd-khiz", meaning "wind source", referring to the steppe winds that blow into the province from the north and northwest. Its northern border extends to the edge of the part of the Karakum desert known as the Sarakhs desert. Northern Badghis includes the loess and other aeolian formations, known locally as the "chul", through which the Turkmen-Afghan boundary runs. Across the border in Turkmenistan is the Badhyz State Nature Reserve in the Badkhiz-Karabil semi-desert.
Prior to the Arab conquest, the province was the center of the Kingdom of Badghis, whose king Tarkhan Tirek resisted an Umayyad invasion in 709 AD. In 1964, the province was carved out of portions of Herat Province and Meymaneh Province.
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.
Like in the rest of Afghanistan, no exact population numbers are available. The Afghan Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation & Development (MRRD) along with UNHCR and Central Statistics Office (CSO) of Afghanistan estimates the population of the province to be around 499,393. Tajiks are the majority, making around 62% of the province's population. The other 38% is made up of mostly Pashtuns (28%) and smaller Hazara, Uzbek, Turkmen, and Baluch.
The major political parties are:
- Jamiat-e Islami (Islamic Society of Afghanistan)
- Hezb-e Islami Gulbuddin
- Hizb-i-Wahdat (Mohaqqeq)
- Islamic Council of Herat
At the province was a Provincial Reconstruction Team, which was led by Spain. As of early 2019 violence in the province was ongoing and a US service member from Texas, serving with the 75th Ranger Regiment, was fatally wounded during a combat operation in the province on January 13.
Badghis is counted as one of the most underdeveloped of the country's thirty-four provinces. Not only does it have little infrastructure, and poor roads, it has a chronic shortage of water. Agriculture is the main source of people's income and the existence of the Murghab River makes the available land suitable for cultivation. The province has suffered from severe drought beginning in the late 1990s and continuing. It has caused tens of thousands of residents to flee to refugee camps outside Herat. The drought has been exacerbated by excessive cutting of forests since 2001. Badghis is the leading province in Afghanistan in pistachio production. It is also one of the carpet-making areas 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. Work on a 233 km section of the Afghan ring road started up again in 2012. This section would connect Bala Murghab with Herat in the southwest, and Maymana and Mazar-i Sharif in the northeast.
The percentage of households with clean drinking water fell from 11.6% in 2005 to 1% in 2011. The percentage of births attended to by a skilled birth attendant increased from 15% in 2005 to 17% in 2011. Official government figures for 2007 indicated that 17% of the Badghis population had access to safe drinking water, while only 1% of births were attended by a skilled person.
According to information of education department, there are 457 schools with 75 high and the rests are primary and secondary schools. There are as many as 120,000 students, with 35% of them being female students. There is one vocational high school of agriculture and one midwife training Institute in the province as well. However, as of 2007 the overall literacy rate was only 9.5%.
Badghis province is divided into seven districts.
- Ab Kamari
- Ghormach District
- Jawand District
- Muqur District
- Bala Murghab District
- Qadis District
- Qala i Naw District
Notes and references
- "Project Development Plan: Badghis Provincial Profile" (PDF). =Afghanistan Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation and Development. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2 December 2010.
- Bosworth, C. E.; Balland, D. "BAÚD¨GÚÈS". In Yarshater, Ehsan (ed.). Encyclopædia Iranica. United States: Columbia University. Archived from the original on 2 January 2009.
- Shroder, John F. (2016). "Hari Rud – Murghab River Basin". Transboundary Water Resources in Afghanistan: Climate Change and Land-Use Implications. Saint Louis: Elsevier. pp. 410–412. ISBN 978-0-12-801861-3.
- Wily, Liz Alden (2004). "Glossary". Looking for Peace on the Pastures: Rural Land Relations in Afghanistan (PDF). Kabul, Afghanistan: Afghanistan Research and Evaluation Unit. p. ii. Archived (PDF) from the original on 12 July 2018.
- Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). Encyclopædia Britannica. 3 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. .
- "Badkhiz-Karabil semi-desert (PA1306)". National Geographic. Archived from the original on 8 March 2010.
- "Badghis - Program for Culture and Conflict Studies - Naval Postgraduate School". nps.edu. Retrieved 11 May 2020.
- "Badghis Provincial Overview". United States: Naval Postgraduate School. Archived from the original on 12 July 2018.
- US soldier from Texas dies of wounds from attack in Afghanistan Archived 26 January 2019 at the Wayback Machine, Jan 18, 2019
- "Background profile of Badghis province". Pajhwok Afghan News. 2014. Archived from the original on 2 March 2014.
- "Provincial profile for Badghis Province" (PDF). Regional Rural Economic Regeneration Strategies (RRERS). United States: Naval Postgraduate School. Archived (PDF) from the original on 12 July 2018.
- Sarwar, Mustafa (5 June 2018). "Almost Two-Thirds Of Afghanistan Hit By Drought". Gandhara.
- "Qala-i-Naw Airport". Islamic Republic of Afghanistan Ministry of Transport and Civil Aviation. Archived from the original on 27 September 2007.
- "Ring Road Construction Restarts After Five Years". Tolo News. 27 August 2012. Archived from the original on 30 September 2013.
- "Badghis Province". Civil-Military Fusion Centre. Archived from the original on 31 May 2014.
- "Badghis Province In A Glance" (PDF). Afghanistan Provincial Health Profile: Situational Analysis of Provincial Health Services. MoPH HMIS Department. p. 3. Archived (PDF) from the original on 12 July 2018.
- "Province of Badghis: A Socio-Economic and Demographic Profile" (PDF). UNFPA. 2003. Archived (PDF) from the original on 12 July 2018.
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