BAMYAN PROVINCE, Afghanistan – The people of Bamyan Province will soon be able to reach their country’s capital much easier thanks to the construction of a new two-lane highway.
The Provincial Governor Habiba Sarobi, Bamyan provincial government officials, local dignitaries including the district governor, and heads of shuras from local villages were present for the road sealing ceremony for a major section of the Bamyan-Kabul Road here July 19.
With Sarobi throwing the first shovel of ‘hotmix’ onto the road, the main asphalt paving machine was ready to start work.
“This road will open up Bamyan to Kabul in the east and enable the farmers here to get their produce to market in a much quicker time than has ever been possible before,” said New Zealand Army Maj. George Tweedy, development officer, Bamyan Provincial Reconstruction Team.
“Bamyan province is a rich agricultural area that produces potatoes, wheat, apricots and many other fruit varieties; however, with no real road infrastructure to speak of it has been very difficult to capitalize on these assets so most of it rots in the fields.
This road, and the others like it, will bring real prosperity to Bamyan and the poor farmers in the area,” said Tweedy.
The event, which was attended by local and national media, was also significant in that this will be the first road to be paved with asphalt outside of the main Bamyan town in the province.
“The NZPRT continues to focus on development and governance within Bamyan Province,” said Maj. Jonathan Fiu, a liaison officer for the New Zealand Army. “Large-scale projects like roads connect the people to the main centers and allow for rural areas to be supported more effectively by the Afghan National Police.”
The Bamyan-Kabul road is one of many large road projects the PRT is working on, said Tweedy. All together, the projects amount to more than $150 million.
After the initial ceremony on the road, there was a short jirga held in the shaded woods near the road where Sarobi made a short speech thanking the PRT for their involvement in the project.
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