Road Reconstruction in Kunduz to Benefit More Than 36,000 People

Yesterday, Kunduz administrative officials and the Director of the provincial Public Works Department (PWD) signed a contract for a road reconstruction in Kunduz. The contract signing took place in Kabul. More than 36,000 citizens will benefit from the reconstruction of the three-kilometre Bagh-e-Zarat Road in downtown Kunduz. The Afghan-German Cooperation’s Regional Infrastructure Development Fund (RIDF) supports the reconstruction work with a total of about AFN 116 million.

Mr Abdul Satar Mirzakwal, Kunduz Provincial Governor said, ‘We have worked towards the reduction of war and violence at the provincial level. As a result, we now have a favourable opportunity for the successful implementation of such projects in the province and will always welcome and support such endeavours.’

Residents in the area face difficulties in transporting goods, agricultural products and livestock to Kunduz city centre due to the road’s poor conditions. Dust and mud pollute the environment and makes access to public, private and social services difficult. The project aims to provide all-season, safe and reliable road access to the city.

Mr Mohammad Tahir Rozi, Kunduz Director of Economy said, ‘This project was a request from the people. Community elders and civil society members frequently asked us when the project will start. Today we sign the contract.’

The renovated road will improve locals’ access to social services such as schools, health facilities, farms and markets, and will foster stronger relations in the province. The road will serve as a by-pass between Chardara and Kabul-Kunduz Highway. During construction, the project will provide income opportunities to residents. Skilled and unskilled labourers will have improved access to job opportunities and local shopkeepers will be able to sell their construction materials.

In addition to funding the road reconstruction, RIDF offers on-the-job training, coaching and mentoring sessions for the engineers and managers working at PWD. These training activities aim at developing the departments’ capacity to design, construct and maintain roads in a practical and sustainable manner.

Mr Zahid Ziarmal, Director of the Public Works Department in Kunduz said, ‘We are ready to work together with RIDF to monitor and ensure quality and timely implementation of the project.’

This project will include upgrading two segments of secondary roads with rigid pavement. Rigid pavement roads can last up to 50 years, offering better road surface, skid resistance, night-time visibility and durability.

The reconstruction work involves paving the road segments to a six or seven-metre-wide rigid pavement carriageway with two lanes and one-metre gravel shoulders on each side. In addition, about three kilometres of side drainage will be constructed. Drainage tunnels will be extended, and 10 additional tunnels built. The PWD will supervise the construction work with remote monitoring and technical support from RIDF.

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.