The Pakistan Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) has received a $20m grant from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) as the first tranche of payment to continue with the construction of the Gomal Zam Dam project.

Last month, USAID agreed to release a $40m loan for the construction of the multi-purpose project being constructed in the South Waziristan Agency, which will help diminish an estimated $2.6m of potential flood damage annually.

A WAPDA spokesman told reporters in the area that the financial support gave a new lease of life to the project, which is in a standstill state due to paucity of funds.

Upon completion, the dam will irrigate 659km² of land and will generate 17.4MW of electricity, which is sufficient to power 25,000 households.