10 New Schools for More Than 6,400 Children in Badakhshan & Project Launch: New Flood Protection Wall for Feyzabad District
The Afghan engineer and director of Kokcha River Sub-Basin Agency of Badakhshan, Rafi Bahman, highlighted the importance of this project and emphasised the fact that this will strongly improve the socio-economic develop-ment of all citizens in the affected area.
Dr Petra Seidler, Head of the German funded programme RIDF, added: “By the implementation of these projects together with Afghan provincial authorities and companies, government employees will be gaining practical ex-perience in managing complex projects”. Besides providing constructions works to the province, these projects also aim at enhancing the provincial department’s ability to conduct similar projects in the future. Therefore, experts from RIDF will offer technical trainings and will provide support throughout the duration of the projects.
The programme RIDF is funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) through KfW Development Bank and contracted to the joint venture of Sweco-GOPA‐INTEGRATION for rolling out the programme.
Speaking at the ceremony, Mr Ahmad Faisal Begzad, Badakhshan Provincial Governor, mentioned: “The Afghan-German friendship has been lasting over a century. We are thankful for the German government’s great support to the people of Badakhshan. It will always be remembered and appreciated”. “The Afghan-German Cooperation opens a perspective for a modern Afghanistan where people and families can live peacefully together and develop their own future. By signing the contracts to construct the schools and the flood protection walls today, we are already on the right track to such a future”, the Consul-General of Germany in Masar-e Sharif, Dr Robert Klinke, added. The ceremony was held at the provincial governor meeting hall.
The districts receiving new schools are: Argo, Darayem, Kishem, Tagab, Teshkan, Shahr-e-Bozorg and Yaftal-e-Payan. In total, these will allow more than 6,400 children to attend classes in proper school buildings instead of being taught in tents or under open sky. The school designs have been introduced by German experts and developed in close coordination with the Infrastructure Service Department of the Afghan Ministry of Education, in order to match the very specific Badakhshan mountainous conditions. Each building is designed to be earthquake resistant and energy efficient. In about one year, all schools will be ready to provide education for pupils from 1st to 12th grade at an expected total cost of AFN 200 million, funded by the German government. Each school will consist of new or renovated fully furnished classrooms and administrative rooms. Furthermore, boundary walls that encircle each school will ensure the safety of all pupils and teachers. New toilets and guardhouses as well as drinking water access points will be provided.
Dr Frank Pohl, a representative of the Afghan-German Cooperation from the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, highlighted: “An investment in education and the young generation is probably the best and the most sustainable investment that one can make”. Mr Abdul Hay Entizami, Director of Education of Badakhshan province, as well as the districts education representatives vividly described how crucially these schools will improve the education standard in their respective districts.
Furthermore, Afghan and German representatives signed a contract for the construction of four flood protection walls with a total length of 1.8 kilometres in Feyzabad district, Badakhshan. Around 50,000 people will benefit from the flood protection walls which will be built along the Kokcha river at four different locations. The German government funded the construction via the programme “Regional Infrastructure Development Fund” (RIDF) at a total cost of AFN 71,3 million.
In recent years, heavy floods in 2009, 2010 and 2011 have severely damaged the livelihood of the population around the Kokcha river. For instance, flooding near the Agriculture Garden in Absity, Badakhshan affected more than 22,000 people as well as 1,500 residential houses and 6,000 hectare agricultural land. Therefore, the con-struction of a protection wall became increasingly necessary. The new flood protection walls will safeguard im-portant infrastructure such as main roads, agricultural areas, residential houses as well as irrigation canals and siphons.