Reliable Energy: New Power Supply Network in Samangan to Benefit 8,000 Residents

Last Thursday, Samangan’s Da Afghanistan Breshna Sherkat (DABS) and the Afghan-German Cooperation signed the contract for the construction of a power supply network in the Kokjar area of Hazrat Sultan District, Samangan. More than 8,000 people in the villages of Bamanchi, Malkar, Ghandaki, Tolakachi, Qazal Bash Lopan Naw, Lopan Kohna and Sadoai will benefit from the new energy infrastructure. The Afghan-German Cooperation’s Regional Infrastructure Development Fund (RIDF) supported DABS with identifying the project and is funding its implementation at a total cost of about AFN 133 million. Construction work is expected to be completed in 14 months.

Currently, the Kokjar area is not connected to any power supply network. Some households and public facilities have their own private diesel generators, which provide them with electricity. However, costs are high and the generators cause environmental pollution and noise.

Sefatullah Samangani, Deputy Governor of Samangan Province, promised his full support together with the local governance of Samangan in implementing the project. He said, ‘We are happy that we are witnessing the contract signing of such an important project. The people of Hazrat Sultan District were desperately waiting for this project and soon they will have electricity in their houses.’

To overcome these problems, a 20 kilovolt distribution line of 10 kilometres length will be built to connect the area with the power supply substation in Aybak, Samangan’s provincial capital. In addition, eight transformer substations with a total capacity of 830 kilovolt ampere and a 23-kilometre long low-voltage network will be installed. The new infrastructure is sufficient to distribute electricity reliably to more than 1,300 families as well as various public facilities, including schools, shops and health clinics in Hazrat Sultan District.

Sayed Karim, Director of Samangan’s DABS assured, ‘DABS will closely work with the contractor company to complete the project as per the technical specifications.’

The new infrastructure will reduce the dependency on diesel-generated energy and will vastly improve the residents’ living conditions as well as foster the economic and rural development in the area. It will provide sustainable energy for lighting with low costs, as well as short-term job opportunities for locals during the construction phase.

In addition to funding this new power supply network, RIDF will also offer on-the-job training, coaching and mentoring sessions for engineers and managers of DABS in Samangan. These activities aim at strengthening DABS’ ability to identify, manage, implement, operate and maintain similar projects independently in the future. At the same time, they ensure the energy infrastructure’s sustainability.

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.