KABUL, Afghanistan (Dec. 03, 2008) — The Provincial Reconstruction Team in Zabul recently finished installing 90 solar lights throughout communities across the province.
The lighting problem had originally been identified in Shajoy city. Citizens wanted to illuminate their bazaar, the largest bazaar in Zabul. In the past, it was hard to conduct business after sunset because of the lack of lighting and the security risk when conducting business after dark. The lights also allow the Afghan National Security Forces to safely conduct security patrols.
“We work very hard at developing and maintaining strong relationships with the local community and local leaders,” said Maj. Gregory Ulma, Zabul PRT civil affairs team leader. “The community is hungry for development. Already we have noticed an uptick in commerce, and commerce is a sign of increased stability.”
The PRT chose solar lights over electric lights due to the lack of electricity in Shajoy. Solar lights will also require less maintenance. The lights can work up to three days without sun.
The PRT installed 50 more lights in the cities of Qalat and Shar-e Safi.
“The success of this project is overwhelming,” said Master Sgt. Tommy Phillips, Zabul PRT engineer. “We were able to provide the people of the communities with a much needed service, and increase security as well.”