Road Reconstruction to Benefit 22,000 Citizens in Samangan

Yesterday, the ground-breaking ceremony for constructing a 3-kilometers long asphalt road connecting Aybak and Dara-e Zhowandon village as well as an 800 meters long gravel road connection to Mazar-e Sharif - Kabul Highway took place in Aybak. Officials of Samangan’s Public Works Department (PWD) and the Afghan-German Cooperation attended the event. More than 22,000 citizens will benefit from the new transport infrastructure. The Afghan-German Cooperation funds the construction works at a total cost of about AFN 92 million.

Samangan’s Deputy Governor, Mr Al Haj Sefatullah Samangini, stated: “We thank the German Government for supporting Afghanistan in developing infrastructure projects, particularly in Samangan. This important road project will allow people to have easier access to neighbouring districts.”

The new infrastructure will improve transport between Aybak and the districts Khuram-wa-Sarbagh and Roy-e Doab as well as to economic centres Kabul and Mazar-e Sharif. Locals will benefit from easier access to schools, agricultural markets and health centres. This will stimulate economic growth in the area, creating jobs and reducing poverty. Further, the asphalted road will result in smoother traffic, reducing environmental pollution and vehicle maintenance costs.

Samangan’s Public Works Department’s Acting Provincial Director, Mr Sayed Mureed Seraj, emphasised: “This project is vital to our people and we appreciate the German support.”

The 3-kilometers road between Aybak and Dara-e Zhowandon village will be equipped with gravel shoulders, allowing local pedestrians to walk along the road safely. Roadway drainage systems on both sides as well as culvert crossings will be improved or reconstructed, protecting the road from drainage incursion and flooding. The existing road to Mazar-e-Sharif – Kabul Highway will have an improved gravel surface, which will ease traffic circulation.

Construction works will last for about 18 months. Throughout the project’s implementation, the Afghan-German Regional Infrastructure Development Fund (RIDF) will offer on-the-job trainings, coaching and mentoring sessions for engineers and managers working at Samangan’s PWD. These activities aim at improving the department’s capacities for designing, constructing and maintaining urban roads independently in the future.

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 7 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. In Samangan, RIDF is currently implementing two school rehabilitation projects. 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.