23 Apr 2007

PR# 2007-335

ISAF’s PRT Herat helps inaugurate 50 public projects

HERAT, Afghanistan – Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) Herat and the Ministry of Rural and Rehabilitation inaugurated 50 public projects valued at 8,830,000 Afghani ($179,365) in several districts.  PRT Herat is part of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF).

The projects include building 14 bridges and social centers, transferring electrical lines, and repairing roads in Obe, Pashtoon Zarghoon, Robat Sangi and Ingil districts.

The bridges connect villages and make it easy for residents to transfer agricultural products and handicrafts, such as carpets and embroidery.  Previously, they had transferred goods by donkeys and horses or hand-carried their goods.  Each process was time-consuming.  In addition, sudden flooding prevented villagers from taking their goods to market and destroyed communications.

The trip from villages to the district center could take up to two days.  The longer time and manpower increased transportation expenses, sometimes eating into half the profits.

“I can transfer vegetables in three hours by a Zarang vehicle,” said Safar Ali, a Obe district farmer.  “Before this it was very difficult for me to sell my produce because the trip took half a day.”

The village of Noqra in Ingil district also received small bridges connecting it with other villages, making life easier for residents.  Sabzina, a recently married young girl, had trouble travelling to her parent’s house. 

“I can go to my parent’s house in one hour because the new bridge is the shortest way,” Sabzina said.  “Also, I want to attend health courses at the social center so I can learn to be a healthier mother for my future child.”

Access to social centers is very important to the Afghan population and for the development of Afghan society. They allow villagers to take training, educational and professional courses.  For example, women can learn handicrafts such as carpet weaving and embroidery skills very useful in Afghan society.

Contact Information ISAF Public Affairs Office
Tel: +93 (0)799 51 1155 - Mobile: 0093 (0) 799 55 8291 pressoffice@hq.isaf.nato.int - www.nato.int/isaf/