Road Reconstruction in Feyzabad District, Badakhshan to Benefit 690,000 People

On Sunday, Badakhshan officials and the Director of the provincial Public Works Department (PWD) signed a contract for the reconstruction of a nine-kilometre road in Feyzabad District. The Afghan-German Cooperation’s Regional Infrastructure Development Fund (RIDF) will support the reconstruction work of the Dehan-e-Sabat Road, which is financed by KfW Development Bank with a total cost of about AFN 188 million.

Mr Zakaria Sawda, Badakhshan’s Provincial Governor stated, ‘The local government fully supports the project execution. I ask the contractor to pay close attention for the quality of works during construction.’

The Dehan-e-Sabat Road is the continuation of the 10-kilometre Feyzabad – Lai Aba Road and the 5-kilometre Feyzabad – Shahr-e-Buzurg Road. The three projects are part of the 74-kilometre-long road that connects Feyzabad City to Yawan District. The reconstruction of the road will benefit approximately 690,000 people of Feyzabad City and ten other districts, namely Yaftal-e-Payin, Shahr-e Buzurg, Yawan, Kohistan, Raghustan, Khahan, Nusai, Maimay, Kuf Ab and Shekay.

Mr Sayed Abdul Rawf Obaidi, the Provincial Director of PWD said, ‘With the implementation of this project, the living conditions of the residents will improve largely, and travel will be safer. The travel time between districts and villages along the proposed project will be significantly reduced.’

Quality infrastructure, such as transport systems and road facilities, is important for economic development and to improve socio-economic conditions. The reconstruction of the Dehan-e-Sabat Road will provide faster access to markets, schools and health care facilities and will foster social interaction and employment opportunities. It will also make driving easier and more comfortable for the surrounding communities. The investment in improved road infrastructure will encourage more socio-economic activities, which will have positive influence on the overall development of the area.

In addition to funding the road reconstruction, RIDF is offering on-the-job training, coaching and mentoring sessions for the engineers and managers working at PWD. These activities aim at developing the department’s capacity to design, construct and maintain rural roads.

Mr Bashir Ahmad Samim, Head of Badakhshan’s Provincial Council said, ‘Development and construction bring happiness to the faces of our people. We are very grateful to the German Cooperation for making this project possible and we ensure our strong support during its implementation.’

The road passes through a mostly flat and partly rolling terrain, but also includes some stretches in mountainous terrain. The reconstruction of the road is necessary as the lack of a drainage system has caused depressions and potholes on its thin gravel surfaces.

The reconstruction work involves widening the existing gravel road to a nine-metre-wide roadway, including an asphalt carriageway and 1.5-metre-wide gravel shoulder on either side. Side ditches along the roadside will drain rainwater and melted snow from the road. Retaining walls will be built in the riverbank and in rockslide prone areas to prevent road damages. Additional causeways will allow for the safe crossing of streambeds during wet seasons.

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.