20,000 Residents in Mazar-e Sharif to Benefit from Upgrade to Power Supply Network

Yesterday, Balkh’s Da Afghanistan Breshna Sherkat (DABS) and representatives from the Afghan-German Cooperation kicked-off construction works to upgrade the power supply network in the eastern part of Mazar-e Sharif. More than 20,000 residents in the areas of Ali Chopan, Karte Wahadat, Baba Padshah and Islam Abad will benefit from a reliable power supply network. The Afghan-German Cooperation’s Regional Infrastructure Development Fund (RIDF) supported DABS in identifying the necessity for this project. RIDF is also funding the project implementation at a total cost of about AFN 160 million. The construction works are planned to take 17 months.

Deputy Governor, Mr Mohammad Bashir Tawhidi stated, ‘I appreciate the German Cooperation. The Governor’s office is ready to support the implementation of the project in case of any obstacles or conflict. We give our consent to keep the quality of project implementation on its top.’

The network that currently supplies the four neighbourhoods in the east of Mazar City is out-dated, in disarray and beyond repair. The network is old, unreliable and unsafe, causing electrical shocks and wasting electricity. To tackle these problems, DABS will replace the current infrastructure with a modern 2.5-kilometre 20-kilovolt-distribution network. The new infrastructure will include fourteen transformer substations with a total capacity of 5.04 megavolt-ampere and a 31-kilometre low-voltage distribution network. Additionally, more than 600 meter boxes with single and 3-phase electricity meters will be installed to supply over 3,000 users.

Dr Angelika Stauder, Head of Development Cooperation said, ‘Germany is prepared to continue to support Afghanistan on its path towards peace, democracy and development, but we will increasingly have a closer look to the sustainability of our common projects.’

The transformer substations will distribute electricity to about 2,700 households as well as various public facilities, including schools, police stations, markets and health centres in the eastern part of Mazar-e Sharif. This will vastly improve living conditions and foster the economic and urban development in the area.

In addition to the project’s implementation, RIDF will also offer on-the-job training, coaching and mentoring sessions for engineers and managers of DABS in Balkh. These activities aim at strengthening DABS’s ability to identify, manage, implement, operate and maintain similar projects independently in the future. DABS will be responsible for taking care of operations and maintenance of the new power supply infrastructure.

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 channels, 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.