Newly surfaced road improves access to and from Hazar Sumuch district in Takhar
The overall construction cost amounted to about AFN 175 million and was funded by the German government through KfW Development Bank. The project was carried out under the Regional Infrastructure Development Fund (RIDF), an open and flexible programme that aims at improving the socio-economic infrastructure at the provincial level and at improving local government’s ability to plan and implement projects.
At the opening, Dr. Frank Pohl, the German development commissioner, said, “The Taloqan - Hazar Sumuch road is important for sustainable development in Takhar province. It will connect the villages along the road to ser-vices and markets in Taloqan and beyond.” Dr. Mohammad Yasin, Provincial Governor of Takhar, emphasized that better infrastructure would lead to better security. “The local communities know that they will benefit a lot from the new road. They are keen to take responsibility and maintain it well.”
The newly asphalted road allows safer and faster passage, considerably reducing travel time between Taloqan and the airport, and between the city of Taloqan and Hazar Sumuch district. It directly benefits around 70,000 people who can now access the provincial capital city more easily. They are able to make better use of markets and facilities in the capital. Transport times and costs are lower with the opening of the new road, leading to in-creases in urban farmers’ incomes. As one villager said about the road repairs, “From today on, I can sell my products at the market in Taloqan, as it’s easier, faster and cheaper to reach now.”
With the completion of works in October 2015, the asphalted road is now about nine metres wide and free to drive all year round. The road is now more resistant to heavy rainfall and sudden flooding, common in the prov-ince. Also, parts of the road were realigned and a single lane bridge was reconstructed and broadened. Before the repair works started in November 2013, the road was a dusty, dirty gravel track, unfit for normal motor traffic. During spring, stretches of the road sometimes had to be closed due to slippery road conditions and floods.
The Taloqan - Hazar Sumuch road project was selected by the Provincial Development Committee (PDC) in ac-cordance with the developmental priorities of Takhar province. Takhar Public Works Department directly super-vised the work, in close coordination with RIDF engineers.
The RIDF is commissioned by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and funded through KfW Development Bank and implemented by Joint Venture Grontmij-GOPA-INTEGRATION, in partnership with the Afghan Ministries of Finance, Economy, Energy and Water, Rural Rehabilitation and Devel-opment, Education, Public Works and various provincial institutions. It is currently implementing infrastructure projects in the provinces of Balkh, Badakhshan, Baghlan, Kunduz, Samangan and Takhar.