Infrastructure projects top priority in isolated areas
By Homayon Khoram
Some 6000 isolated Afghan villagers will no longer be cut off
thanks to a new bridge being constructed in a remote village in north
The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in cooperation
with the Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation and Development (MRRD) has
funded the construction of the new bridge.
Around 1200 families live in Zangar, a village located at the
foot of high rising mountains in the Farkhar district of Takhar
province. It is a mountainous and cold area where snow never melts on
the peaks of the mountains.
The village is cut off by the Farkhar River and the only way
for villagers to access the rest of the province is by a primitive
wooden bridge that has been constructed by the villagers themselves;
but that is washed away every year by seasonal floods.
“A bridge is our village’s top priority. We are tired of
constructing the bridge every year to see it washed away again by
floods,” said Maulavi Ghulam Nabi a village elder.
The bridge is being constructed under the National Area Based Development Programme (NABDP), a UNDP-MRRD project.
“We implement small scale infrastructure projects such as
bridges, irrigation canals, health clinics and schools,” said NABDP
Programme Manager Jamie Graves.
“We have numerous projects for the north eastern region. There
are around a dozen NABDP projects that will be implemented in
Badakhshan next year,” added Jamie Graves.
Schools, irrigation canals, wells, bridges and protection walls
are among NABDP projects completed in Afghanistan’s north eastern
provinces of Badakhshan, Takhar, Kunduz and Baghlan.
There are a number of on-going NABDP projects in Baharak, Namak
Aab, Chah Aab and Farkhar districts of Takhar province. A school is
being built in Bajga village in Baghlan and will be completed in the
“I would like to encourage people to express their preferences
through the district development assemblies so we can identify where
the needs are,” concluded Jamie Graves.
The total budget for NABDP projects from February 2006 to January 2009 is US$ 164 million.