New Flood Protection Wall and Intake Rehabilitation to Benefit 30,000 Baghlan Residents

Yesterday, Baghlan’s Provincial Governor and the Director of Lower Kunduz River Basin Agency (LKRBA) signed a contract for constructing a flood protection wall. The contract includes rehabilitating the Baladori Intake to safeguard Pul-e Khomri City and the Baladori Canal in the provincial capital. More than 30,000 residents will directly benefit from the project. The Afghan-German Cooperation’s Regional Infrastructure Development Fund (RIDF) will support the project’s technical implementation together with LKRBA and finance the project at a total cost of about AFN 67.7 million.

Baghlan’s Provincial Governor, Mr Taj Mohammad Jahid, stated ‘I express my thanks to the German government for funding this project. It will positively impact this area in the long term.’

Recently, flooding heavily eroded the Baladori Intake on the Lower Kunduz River, affecting the livelihoods of 30,000 residents along the Baladori Canal and in the Pul-i Khumri city centre. Several buildings close to the riverbank were destroyed. The existing flood protection measures are in poor condition. To mitigate the risks of flooding, LKRBA proposed the flood protection wall project in 2016. The Provincial Development Council (PDC) prioritised the project in its development plan. Construction works are expected to begin within two months.

The Provincial Director of Baghlan River Basin Agency, Eng. Asifullah Rahimi, explained ‘With this important project’s implementation, many houses and community lands will be protected from flooding. Also, the intake of Baladori Canal will be strengthened to supply more water for about 400 ha (2,000 jeribs) of agricultural land.’

The project comprises the construction of 650 metres of gabion, or caged rock wall, and 550 metres of canal protection wall, and includes the rehabilitation of the Baladori Canal Intake. The construction will protect 350 ha (1,750 jeribs) of land from flooding and improve irrigation of agricultural land. Because of this, agricultural output in the area will increase, promoting socio-economic development, and improving living conditions. During construction period, the project will provide income opportunities to locals.

In addition to construction works, RIDF will offer on-the-job training, remote coaching and mentoring sessions for the engineers and managers working at LKRBA. The aim is to develop the department’s capacities to design, construct and maintain similar infrastructure 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 canals, 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.