1.2 Million People Benefit from Repaired Road in Badakhshan

Yesterday in Badakhshan, provincial officials, representatives from the Ministry of Transport as well as the Road Operation and Maintenance Department (ROMD) inaugurated the completion of operations and maintenance work along the 103-kilometre Feyzabad - Kishim main road. About 1.2 million people directly benefit from these reparations. The ceremony took place at the site in Kuzur-e Furghambol, Argo District. The ROMD (formerly Public Works Department) and the Afghan-German Cooperation’s Regional Infrastructure Development Fund (RIDF) coordinated all construction and repair work at a total cost of about AFN 97 million.

Deputy Governor, Mr Akhtar Mohammad Khairzada, expressed, ‘We thank the German government for their long-lasting support to Afghanistan. We are very happy to witness the operation of this important road.’

The sites of the operations and maintenance activities were along the main road between Feyzabad and Taloqan. The work included the construction of more than 1.7 kilometres of reinforced masonry retaining walls and flood protection walls at five strategic locations. This prevents further destruction of the existing road from flooding and water damage of the Kokcha River and from falling rocks. The operations and maintenance work started in April 2017 and was completed in early June 2019.

At the ceremony, Engineer Mohammad Zekria Mohammadi, Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Transport stated, ‘The constructed protection wall along Faizabad – Kishem road now largely secures the road from flooding. I request from the ROMD to attend to the operation and maintenance of this important road.’

This main road is very important for Badakhshan Province because of its frequent use and its vital location. It connects Afghanistan’s north-eastern provinces to the country’s capital Kabul. It is also part of the so-called ‘Silk Road’ which carries traffic to and from Afghanistan’s neighbouring countries Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and Iran.

Engineer Abdul Rawf Obaidi, Badakhshan’s ROMD Director said, ‘The abilities of our staff have significantly increased in terms of capacity development through RIDF’s support and we therefore ensure our people about the good quality of works. I appreciate the good cooperation and support of all involved partners.’

In addition to the construction and reparations, the RIDF programme offered coaching, on-the-job training, seminars and mentoring sessions for the engineers and managers working at the Roads Operation and Maintenance Department. They improved their skills so that they can manage and execute similar projects and required routine and emergency maintenance independently in the future.

As a result of the Afghan-German government consultations, Germany expects the Afghan government to meet its commitments to carry out various reforms including improving operations and maintenance in return for its investments. Therefore, AFN 3.5 billion (EUR 40 million) are conditional on carrying out measures ensuring the longevity of existing and planned infrastructure projects.

The Regional Infrastructure Development Fund (RIDF) is implemented by KfW Development Bank on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). The programme aims at improving economic and social infrastructure in Northern Afghanistan while enabling provincial administrations to plan and implement development programmes independently. Since 2011, the programme has funded, constructed and rehabilitated more than 160 kilometres of roads, 50 kilometres of irrigation canals and 11 protection dams against flooding or erosion in the provinces Balkh, Kunduz, Baghlan, Takhar, and Badakhshan. In Samangan, RIDF is currently implementing two school rehabilitation projects. At the same time, the programme has organised about 900 on-the-job training sessions, coaching and seminars for more than 3,000 engineers and governmental employees, facilitating the independent realisation of future infrastructure projects.