Road Reconstruction in Takhar to Benefit 36,000 People

This week, representatives of the Afghan-German Cooperation and Takhar’s provincial Department of Rural Rehabilitation and Development (DRRD) signed a contract for reconstructing a two-kilometre road in Taloqan District, Takhar. The project will start at Pule-e-Jalat village located five kilometres from Taloqan downtown along Kunduz-Takhar Highway. It will end at Nowabad-e-Puleqak village. The Afghan-German Cooperation’s Regional Infrastructure Development Fund (RIDF) will support the project’s technical implementation together with DRRD and will fund the project at a total cost of about AFN 109 million.

Takhar’s provincial governor, Mr Abdul Haq Shafaq, stated, ‘I express my thanks to our befriended country, Germany, for the continuous support to the Afghan people through such development projects. I appreciate their kind attention towards the development of our province.’

The road connects Chaal, Bangi, and Eshkamesh districts. Its reconstruction will benefit around 36,000 citizens living in its vicinity. Residents in the three districts are facing difficulties in transporting goods, agricultural products and livestock to the city centre due to poor road conditions. The dusty and occasionally muddy road pollutes the surrounding area and makes access to public, private and social services difficult. During construction period, the project will provide income opportunities to residents who can participate in the construction works. In addition, local shop owners can sell construction materials.

The DRRD’s director, Eng. Sebghatullah Nazari, emphasised, ‘The implementation of this project will bring positive impacts for the residents’ living conditions. The travel time between three districts will be significantly reduced. In the future, the reconstructed road can be used as an alternative way to Takhar-Kunduz main highway to prevent traffic jams.’ A resident, Dr Mohammad Rahman Hakim, added, ‘We are very grateful to the Afghan-German Cooperation and our local government for putting tireless efforts to make this project possible.’

In the long term, the reconstructed road will provide greater socio-economic benefits to the population. The renovated road will improve lives by quicker access to social services, such as schools, health facilities, and markets, and will foster security and cultural relations by making the area more accessible for nonlocals.

The existing gravel and dirt road will be reconstructed as a two-lane, six-metre wide rigid pavement carriageway with gravel shoulders on either side. Drainage systems will be constructed on both sides to prevent water from pooling on the roadway surface. In addition, road crossing culverts will be extended or reconstructed and a stone masonry retaining wall will be built to protect the road from flooding.

During the reconstruction, RIDF will offer on-the-job training, and other training sessions for engineers and managers at the provincial DRRD in Takhar province. They aim at developing the department’s capacity to design, construct and maintain rural roads 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.