Badghis province is one of the 34 provinces of Afghanistan. The name came from Persian word “Bad-Khiz” which means “wind source” as the province is very windy. The steppe wind that blows in this province comes from north and northwest region.
It is located on the isolated hills of northwest of Afghanistan and shares its border with Turkmenistan. On the other hand it shares it border with Herat, Ghor & Faryab provinces as well. The northern border of the province extends to the Karakum desert which is also known as Sarakhs desert.
It is considered as one of the most underdeveloped provinces in the country & agriculture is the main source of income which fuels the economy of this province. The Murghab River dominates this province which makes the land suitable for cultivation.
Qala-i-Naw is the capital while Bala Murghab is considered as the most populated district and city of the province. Near the modern city of Bala Murghab you will encounter the ruins of the medieval city of Marw al-Rudh which was once the capital of medieval region of Gharjistan.
The total area of this province is 20,591 km², as per the Afghan Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation & Development (MRPD). Along with the Central Statistics Office (CSO) of Afghanistan and UNHCR the estimated population of the province is 0.57 million. The same source implies that approx. 68% of this population comprise of Tajiks, Uzbeks, Turkmens & Hazaras while the remaining 32% comprise of Balochs, Pashtuns and other minorities.
Before the Arabs invasion, the province was the center of the Kingdom of Badghis, whose king Tarkhan Tirek fought against the invasion of Umayyad in 709 AD. In 1964, this province was established after splitting out some part of the Meymaneh Province and Herat Province. This was one of the last provinces that Taliban captured in their era. In 2001 American invaded in Afghanistan and soon after that the province was taken by the support of Northern Alliance
It is one of the most underdeveloped provinces with little infrastructure, poor roads and chronic shortage of water which is why the current governor of the province, Mr. Jamaluddin Ishaq, is paying significant attention on these issues. The province has only one airport known as Qala I Naw airport and it can only handle light aircrafts. Provincial government is also working on a 233 Km section of the Afghan ring road project which will connect Bala Murghab with Herat in the south west and Mazar-i-Sharif and Maymana in the north east.
The main source of income for the locals is agriculture; it is a leading province in the production of pistachio and it is also a carpet making area of the country.
The literacy rate of the province shows a slight upward trend, as per the information of education department there are approx. 457 schools in this region 75 of these schools are high schools while the remaining are primary and secondary schools. As per an estimate there are 120,000 students that are studying in these schools and out of them 35% are female students.