Takhar’s new Bangi river suspension bridge connects 15,000 people with district centre
A new suspension bridge was inaugurated in Bangi district in the province of Takhar on Monday. The new bridge spans 150 metres in length, is 3.5 metres wide and connects a population of 15,000 from more than ten villages with the district centre on the other side of the Bangi River. The new bridge cost over AFN 33.4 million to build, funded by the German Government and financed by Germany’s KfW Development Bank. The completion of the construction project marks a significant milestone in Germany’s northern Afghan program for stabilisation, as more remote communities can now reach hospitals, schools and shops that were previously inaccessible to them.
As one villager said in his speech at the inauguration ceremony, “Construction of the Bangi Bridge has led to more boys and girls registered in the district’s schools. In the past, our children in our villages could not attend school because the way was too long for them to go every day. Now that we have the bridge, more than 500 boys and girls have newly enrolled in the primary schools in the district centre.” The bridge also helps resolve other transportation problems in the remote communities in Bangi and improves access to basic services like healthcare, education and local marketplaces.
Construction of the Bangi Bridge was managed and financed by the KfW Development Bank, with implementation handled by the bank’s strategic partner, Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN), together with its partner ACTED. The decision to build the link over the river was taken by the District Development Assembly in consultation with District Governor and Department of Rural Rehabilitation and Development (DRRD). The project was a priority in the District Development Plan (DDP). The building project also included construction of a 125-metre protection wall, a 189-metre Gabion wall and gravelling for 180 metres of road on either side of the bridge. The project took a total of 36 months to complete.
The inauguration ceremony was widely attended by government and community representatives and stakeholders, including Mr. Haji Haider, from the Takhar Provincial Governor’s Office, Mr.Muhammad Hussain, Governor of Bangi District, and Mr. Gerhard Frese on behalf of KFW. They were joined by the deputy director of the Department of Rural Rehabilitation and Development (DRRD), directors from AKDN and ACTED, members of the DDA and more than two hundred local elders and villagers.
The Stabilization Program for Northern Afghanistan (SPNA) is funded by the German Federal Foreign Office, financed by KfW Development Bank and implemented by the Aga Khan Foundation, in partnership with Mercy Corps and ACT-ED. Since 2010, the SPNA has provided almost €70 million in support for high-impact rural infrastructure projects in Badakhshan, Takhar, Kunduz and Baghlan. So far, more than 199 small and medium-size infrastructure projects have been funded in 37 districts; in Takhar alone, 59 projects have been implemented in 13 districts, including the provincial capital.
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