Road Construction Kicks Off in Badakhshan

11.11.2019
Yesterday, the governor of Badakhshan, together with the Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Transport, the Director of Roads Operation and Maintenance Department (ROMD) and provincial officials marked the first day of the construction of a ten-kilometre road in Feyzabad. The road will connect Feyzabad City to Lai Aba villages and neighbouring districts. The project is part of the rehabilitation of a 74-kilometre road. Its aim is to connect Feyzabad City and the Yawan District with an ‘all-weather road’ that will benefit about 600,000 citizens. The Afghan-German Cooperation’s Regional Infrastructure Development Fund (RIDF) is supporting the construction with a total amount of around AFN 206 million.

Speaking at the ceremony, Engineer Mohammad Zekria Mohammadi, Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Transport said, ‘On behalf of the central government, we appreciate the German government for their continued support in rebuilding Afghanistan’s infrastructure, and we are grateful to the donor for actively contributing in such an important project. Today, I am very pleased to witness the laying of the foundation stone of the project and I congratulate the residents.’

The poor conditions of the existing gravel road between Dashti Qurogh and Lai Aba villages makes travel very difficult and dangerous for vehicles and pedestrians. There are many potholes and no drainage system. Once the construction is completed, travel times to markets, schools and healthcare facilities will be reduced and routes will be safer. Further, citizens and tourists will have a more comfortable ride reaching Sar-e Jangal, a traditional park in the area to enjoy weekends and public holidays.

Construction works will take an estimated 23 months and involve widening the existing gravel road and adding side ditches to drain rainwater and melted snow. Retaining walls will be built where necessary to prevent risk of road damage and injury as the road is between the Kokcha River and the mountainside.

In addition to road’s construction, RIDF provides on-the-job training, coaching, seminars and mentoring sessions for engineers and managers working at ROMD (formerly known as Public Works Department - PWD). The aim is to develop the department’s capacity to design, construct and maintain rural roads independently in the future to improve overall operation and maintenance.

The Regional Infrastructure Development Fund (RIDF) is being 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. In the past seven years, the programme has funded and constructed/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, Badakhshan and is now implementing two school rehabilitation projects in Samangan. At the same time, the programme has organised about 900 job-specific on-the-job trainings, coaching and seminars for more than 3,000 engineers and governmental employees, facilitating the independent realisation of future infrastructure projects.