Newly repaired road in Badakhshan resolves major transportation issue
The 27 kilometer long Darayem Road was officially reopened for traffic on Tuesday, following two years of repair work on the road.
Funded by the German government at a cost of AFN 180 million, the road was handed over to local government.
The newly repaired road allows safer and faster passage all year around and significantly reduces travel time between Badakhshan’s capital Feyzabad and the southern districts Argo, Darayem, Teshkan and Kishem. It directly benefits 250,000 inhabitants in the districts and up to a further half million citizens in the province by providing easier access to markets, schools, and hospitals.
“Roads are a core element for sustainable rural infrastructure development. Thanks to the Darayem Road, Darayem and Argo district governments, together with the Provincial Government of Badakhshan, find a great opportunity to connect and integrate the communities with social services and markets in each district center, as well as in Feyzabad and beyond. Moreover, the project has greatly enhanced the capacity of the Provincial Government and the Public Works Department to plan and manage rural roads,” said Dr. Frank Pohl, German Development Commissioner for Badakhshan and Takhar.
Following completion of the roadworks in late 2014, the road is now wider and has an improved surface. An innovative paving technique using carefully laid stone was applied to the maintenance work, especially for a half-kilometer stretch of steep slopes (with a gradient of more than 20%), making the road passable all year round. To protect the road against the effects of excessive rainfall and flooding common in the province, embankments and waterways were reinforced and extended. Retaining walls, flood protection structures, and drainage facilities such as culverts, causeways and side drainage now safeguard the road from damages caused by extreme weather conditions. Some parts of the road were also realigned for better passage for vehicles and trucks.
Darayem Road was a dusty track in poor condition, passing through narrow passageways, sharp turns, crossing streams and steep slopes. It was in no state to carry current loads of motor traffic. During winter, some stretches were impassable due to slippery conditions and flooding from streams nearby.
The overall construction cost amounted to €2.4 million (around 180 million AFN) and was funded by the German government through KfW Development Bank. The project was implemented as part of the Regional Infra-structure Development Fund (RIDF), an open and flexible program aimed at improving the socio-economic infrastructure in the provinces of Badakhshan, Baghlan, Balkh, Kunduz and Takhar. Another important component is capacity building to improve local government’s ability to plan and implement projects. The Darayem Road project was selected by the Provincial Development Committee (PDC) based on the development priorities set for Badakhshan Province.
The RIDF is funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) through KfW Development Bank. Projects are selected by the Provincial Development Committees and are then implemented by the provincial departments of the Afghan Ministries of Finance, Economy, Energy and Water, Rural Rehabilitation and Development, Education, Public Works with the support of the Joint Venture Grontmij-GOPA-INTEGRATION. The fund was started in 2010, and it works in the provinces Balkh, Badakhshan, Baghlan, Kunduz and Takhar.
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