Road and culvert construction will improve the livelihoods of 2,660 people in Omakai Village in Balkh Province
29 NOVEMBER 2010 | OMAKAI VILLAGE, AFGHANISTAN
Residents of Omakai Village in Balkh Province have long suffered from a lack of social and economic development opportunities and access to basic services because of an absence of proper roads and transportation to the district center. With local residents unable to travel, the village became host to a high level of insurgent activity, and the local government was unable to regain control of the area.
To bring stability to the area and provide better access to transportation for Omakai’s residents, USAID launched an activity to gravel a five-kilometer road and construct four culverts. These improvements will improve the livelihoods of more than 2,600 people, ensure stabilization in the village, and provide people with access to transportation and health services. The road will also allow local government to access the village and eliminate the insurgents’ influence, demonstrating that the Afghan Government is able to provide stability and security for its citizens.
Unfortunately, just a few weeks into the road construction, tragedy struck. A landmine exploded at the project site, killing one and injuring two. Abdul Jabar, an unskilled laborer working on the road project, was killed. Rahim Gul, a tractor driver, was seriously injured. A nine-year-old son of a laborer was injured as he fetched water for his father. However, residents were committed to the project and soon resumed work, reiterating their dedication to the successful completion of the road.
Ghulam Rasoul, a community elder, said, “This is a great opportunity for our community to have a road that facilitates our day-to-day life. The road has minimized the journey duration to the district center, lowered the car fare considerably, and encouraged more drivers to take this road, thus bringing more facilities to residents.”
Even before it is completed, the road project is bringing pride and stability to the area.
Amir Gul, whose brother died in the landmine incident, said, “I strongly support the implementation of the project that brings stability and prosperity to our village. I am enthusiastic about participating in the rehabilitation of this road and I deem it an honor to be killed in the way of building my country.”
Last updated: February 26, 2015