The Kandahar municipal government takes the lead on city sidewalk repairs, making life safer for residents.
10 NOVEMBER 2010 | KANDAHAR CITY, KANDAHAR, AFGHANISTAN
One of the first priorities of any city government is pedestrian safety. This is especially important in cities like Kandahar, where many residents travel on foot. After decades of neglect, many of the city’s sidewalks were nothing more than dirt pathways and broken stones. Now, with assistance from USAID, the Governor of Kandahar is leading an effort to make the city safer for residents.
The Governor, as part of the Hamkari Baraye Kandahar (Cooperation for Kandahar) initiative, wanted to show that the city’s municipal government can respond to residents’ needs. The Kandahar municipality took the lead and identified projects that would make life better for average Kandaharis, such as improving the city sidewalks, also demonstrating that the government can provide basic services to the nearly 850,000 residents.
The job was daunting, with more than 150 km of sidewalks and drainage ditches in need of repair. To help manage the task, the municipality asked USAID’s Community Development Program (CDP) to assist with project planning and management.
From December 2009 through July 2010, more than 3,000 local laborers, all from Kandahar City, rebuilt sidewalks and drainage ditches in areas with high pedestrian traffic, including the streets around Mirwais Hospital, Kandahar University, Shekapoor Bazaar, and Kabul Bazaar. Within six months, many of the city streets had been transformed by the addition of functional, clean sidewalks with drainage ditches providing relief from the seasonal rains that would often flood the streets.
Additionally, the project provided much needed income for the workers and their families in a city struggling with high unemployment and instability. The government has additional construction plans for future repairs.
CDP continues to promote stability in Afghanistan’s most volatile provinces through temporary employment and income generation opportunities to address the drivers of instability, reduce the number of food-insecure Afghans, and assist local government structures to respond to community needs.
Last updated: January 12, 2015