During the ceremony, the provincial governor, Mr Faisal Begzad, commented: “I hope that these projects make our citizens aware of the fact that their government is taking care of them. We are grateful to the German government for the outstanding cooperation and this vital project”.
The flood protection walls will safeguard houses, agricultural land and the road between Feyzabad and Taloqan from flooding. Most of the time, the floods come from Kokcha River and existing irrigation canals. In previous years, severe floods destroyed vast territories next to Kokcha River. Residents were unable to access surrounding cities – that included health facilities, markets, etc. Now, more than 50,000 people will directly benefit from this protection.
In total, the protection walls measure 1.8 kilometres, meeting regional needs and covering an area of about 1,500 jerib (300 hectares).
Protecting the region from severe economic damages, flood protection is vital for the province’s economic development. It helps to avoid the interruption of traffic on important roads and thus enables residents to maintain and increase agricultural production, trade and access to education as well as health facilities.
Additionally, RIDF trains engineers working for the Kokcha River Sub Basin Agency to enable them to implement similar projects independently in the future. Its director in Badakhshan, Mr Rafi Bahman, emphasised: “The construction of protection walls considerably prevents flood damages to irrigation systems. These walls will contribute to improve the socio-economic development for local communities. Its implementation also increases the technical capacities of our engineers remarkably”.
The Regional Infrastructure Development Fund (RIDF) is being implemented by KfW Development Bank on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). The project aims at improving economic and social infrastructure in Northern Afghanistan while enabling provincial administrations to plan and implement development programmes independently in the future. For example, the project has funded about 160 kilometres of roads, 50 kilometres of irrigation canals and 11 protection dams against flooding or erosion since 2011. At the same time, the project has organised about 490 job-specific seminars for more than 2,300 people facilitating the independent realisation of future infrastructure projects.