Location within Afghanistan
Districts prior to 2005 realignment
|Provincial seat||Qala i Naw|
|Largest city||Bala Murghab|
|o Total||20,590.6 km2 (7,950.1 sq mi)|
|o Water||0 km2 (0 sq mi)|
|o Density||20.9/km2 (54/sq mi)|
|o Ethnic groups||Tajik, Pashtun, Uzbek, Turkmen, Hazara|
|o Languages||Dari Persian, Pashto, Turkmen|
|ISO 3166 code||AF-BDG|
B?dgh?s (Dari/Pashto: ) 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. According to the same sources, Amaq, Uzbeks, Turkmens and Hazaras make up around 55% of the total population, followed by Pashtuns, Balochs and other minorities at 45%.
The major political parties are:
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. As many as 120,000 students with 35% of them are 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.