Repairing Qassaba Road, which is locally known as ‘Russian Road’
Emergency road repairs continue apace in Kabul, months after its harshest winter in 20 years but their ongoing significance goes much beyond a smoother ride for residents of the Afghan capital. The road works are a shining example of the partnership between Kabul Municipality and the international donor community. The teamwork has been brought about by the USAID-funded Kabul City Initiative (KCI).
It all started in early 2011, when Kabul’s mayor Yunus Nawandish and the KCI decided it would be sensible if all the donors met twice a month to coordinate projects and avoid duplication. The mayor chairs the meetings, which bring together major donors such as the Japanese International Cooperation Agency, the United States Special Forces for Afghanistan (USFOR-A), the U.S. Embassy, World Bank and others.
The coordination has come in handy during the ongoing road works, with the KCI and USFOR-A easily able to collaborate on the project, alongside the municipal authorities. The KCI rents the heavy equipment, the Kabul Municipality provides fuel and a site inspector and USFOR-A contributes gravel. Once the mayor declared that Qassaba Road, which is locally known as ‘Russian Road’, was a priority, the Japanese aid agency agreed to pave it in 2013. It’s thought that by the end of summer, more than 20km of Kabul’s roads will have been repaired.
The mayor’s office has benefited enormously from this emphasis on coordination and collaboration with the KCI using the information collated from the biweekly donor meetings to help map all of Kabul’s development projects. These have been uploaded to the municipality’s website and now provide the mayor and other officials a handy management tool.
Kabul Road Works Are Partners' Pride