19 May 2008

PR# 2008-200

‘Bridging’ the lifeline of Panjshir province

Haji Bahlol (center), the Panjshir Provincial Governor, officiates the Molakhel Bridge-groundbreaking ceremony in the Rokha District, Panjshir province, May 7. The Panjshir Provincial Reconstruction Team is scheduled to start construction of the new bridge, which is a four-month, $116,000 project.

KABUL, Afghanistan – On June 27, 2007, a flash flood ravaged parts of the Rokha district.  That day 23 people lost their lives when their bus washed off the Molakhel road. This road was one of two in Rokha that were destroyed by the floods.  The roads were temporarily repaired, but vehicular traffic and water from a nearby stream eroded them away.

Now, the situation has improved. More than 100 people gathered today to watch as Haji Bahlol, the Panjshir province governor, officiated the Molakhel Bridge-groundbreaking ceremony. The event signified the start of a four-month, $116,000 construction project for the Rokha district, Panjshir province.

“I want to thank the PRT for their continued cooperation,” said Governor Bahlol, who knew the task was not an easy one. “The PRT worked hard to get this project and we all thank them for all of their hard work,” continued the governor, motioning to the villagers in attendance.

Local villagers as well as the governor, voiced their safety concerns relating to the current and temporary road, which the bridge will alleviate.  

“Last year’s flood was devastating to the people of Rokha when the road was washed out and many people died as a result,” said Governor Bahlol. “Having a safe roadway is very important for all of Panjshir and especially to the people living right here in Rokha.  This will be a better roadway for the cars and a better walkway for the safety of all of the people travelling through Panjshir.”

The current roadway will be temporarily maintained as an alternate route until the new bridge is completed.  Once the bridge is completed, the contractor will remove the old roadway and culverts to allow the water to once again flow freely.

Contact Information ISAF Public Affairs Office
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