Flood Protection Wall Benefits Almost 50,000 Badakhshan Citizens

Yesterday, the Afghan-German Cooperation handed over a newly constructed flood protection wall to the Kokcha River Basin Agency in Feyzabad District, Badakhshan Province. The 1.8-kilometre-long wall protects around 3,200 residential houses and 31,500 jeribs (6,300 hectares) of land from floods, benefitting almost 50,000 citizens. The Afghan-German Cooperation’s Regional Infrastructure Development Fund (RIDF) financed the project via KfW Development Bank at a total cost of about AFN 132 million.

Speaking at the ribbon cutting session, Mr Akhtar Mohammad Khairzada, the Deputy Governor of Badakhshan stated, ‘We are so grateful to the German Federal Government for their continued assistance to the province. With the construction of these flood protection walls, the problems of many people living along the river are solved.’

In recent years, heavy floods stemming from Kokcha River severely damaged houses, farmland and infrastructure in surrounding areas. To ensure that this does not happen anymore, Badakhshan’s Provincial Development Committee prioritised the construction of a new flood protection wall along the river. Construction works started in 2016.

Engineer Sayed Ahmad Naseri, Provincial Director of Kokcha River Basin Agency expressed his gratitude for inaugurating the completion of this valuable project. He said, ‘I am grateful to the German Cooperation and the close collaboration of the RIDF team. I hope for further cooperation and continued support in future.’

By protecting local irrigation systems, farmland and infrastructure, the wall shall increase agricultural productivity and stimulate economic growth in the area. At the same time, thousands of residential houses and gardens will be safe, improving locals’ living conditions. Lastly, the wall also protects the vital road connection between Feyzabad and Taloqan as well as Baharak road.

Construction works comprised 1.8 kilometres of protection wall made of stone masonry with concrete foundations. The wall is further equipped with supporting boulders and fortified aprons. Many of the required materials have been bought from local shops. Construction works also created temporary employment for residents.

Throughout implementation, RIDF offered on-the-job training and coaching sessions for engineers and managers working for the Kokcha River Basin Agency. These activities aimed at increasing the agency’s capacities for identifying, managing, implementing and maintaining similar projects independently in the future.

The KfW Development Bank implements the programme Regional Infrastructure Development Fund (RIDF) on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). RIDF aims to improve the living conditions in northern Afghanistan by providing basic infrastructure and empowering administration and citizen groups to plan, implement and operate infrastructure projects. Infrastructure measures include the construction of roads, irrigation channels, flood protection walls, and schools as well as the development of the power grid. Since 2010 the programme has funded, constructed and rehabilitated more than 270 km of roads, 98 km of irrigation canals and 15 flood protection dams. Furthermore, the programme has constructed 29 school buildings and connected 5,750 households to the power grid. So far, 5,500 government employees have taken part in RIDF training courses that aim to train provincial governmental personnel. This will enable Afghan institutions to implement projects like these independently in the future.