Parwan Governor Abdul Basir Salangi inspects road improvements.
In a ceremony that acknowledged dramatic improvements to the roads in Parwan Province, Governor Abdul Basir Salangi, the Head of Provincial Public Sector Organizations, and sub-governors of Ezatkhel and Saydkhel Districts, together with local citizens formally celebrated USAID’s commitment to implementing routine and emergency maintenance services for 170 kilometers of roads within the province. This project, funded by USAID, includes all roads that are engineered gravel, double bituminous surface treatment, or asphalt roads.
“To provide the people of Parwan with high quality transportation, there is a pressing need for provincial level road maintenance to protect and preserve our existing road assets,” the Governor said in his speech to the public. Of the 170 kilometers being maintained, 30 percent of the routes lie in mountainous terrain and 40 percent traverse mountains and valleys.
Bacura Construction Company, which has more than three years of road maintenance experience working along the northeastern Afghan road network, launched the repair of Parwan’s provincial roads in July 2010. During the past six months, the all-Afghan company has repaired damaged roadside masonry structures, reshaped failing side slopes, and filled hundreds of potholes, employing 95 percent of local labor from communities along the roads.
USAID, through its Afghanistan Infrastructure Rehabilitation Program, relied on national standards for executing road maintenance using private sector Afghan subcontractors under a performance-based contract. The operations and maintenance subcontractors are paid a fixed monthly fee minus any deduction for not meeting maintenance standards. Subcontractors are also paid fees to repair emergency maintenance events resulting from natural disasters or insurgent activity.
“The importance of road maintenance is strategic and significant because it connects the province and communities to the main road network, opens trade opportunities for the agricultural producers to the rest of the country and to the different world markets, and will improve the business environment in the area,” the Governor explained. Since the improvements began, travel time has been reduced and operating costs for, farmers, traders, and families lowered. Access to essential services such as schools, hospitals, local government, and authorities brings to isolated regions the connections they need to the rest of the country.
The celebration also provided an opportunity for the Governor and other officials to cut the ribbon for the groundbreaking of much needed repair works for the Ezatkhel Bridge and improvement works for the 700 meter gap section along the Cahrikar-Panjshir road in the town of Gulbahar.
Afghanistan National TV broadcasted the ceremony on the evening news.
For more information about USAID's programs in Afghanistan, go to http://afghanistan.usaid.gov/en/home.