- Improved drainage is one of the many benefits of a newly rebuilt main road in Kabul.
- Commuters and residents alike are benefiting from the improved traffic flow, clean environment, and safer traffic conditions as a result of the reconstruction project by Kabul Municipality under the Kabul Urban Transport Efficiency Improvement Project.
- The main road is one of six that have been resurfaced to improve road conditions, transport, and access in the capital city.
KABUL CITY – The zebra markings on the road allow schoolchildren to safely cross the road, weighed down by heavy schoolbags. The paved sidewalk is filled with teenagers, older siblings and their friends who are heading to school too. Despite the slight nip in the air, everyone seems to be in a good mood driven by the promise of a new day.
Ahmad Farid, 35, a taxi driver, comes to a stop alongside the road to check his car’s tires. He ferries passengers every day on this newly reconstructed asphalt road. “The road is not too crowded anymore and I can reach my destinations faster,” he says. “Before being asphalted, the road was bumpy. There wasn’t a good system of managing traffic.”
Until recently, commuters in Kabul city faced hazardous traveling conditions, especially during winter and on rainy days. Sidewalks and roads were muddy and, with was no drainage system, water from rain and melted snow led to pedestrians slipping and vehicles skidding.
Thousands of commuters and residents now benefit from the newly asphalted road, carried out by Kabul Municipality (KM). Reconstructed under the Kabul Urban Transport Efficiency Improvement (KUTEI) Project, this road connects Parwan-e-II square and Sarak-e-5 Square. As one of the main roads of Kabul city, it has eased access of nearby municipality districts to other parts of the capital city.
The construction on the 5.75-kilometer arterial road started on July 2015 and was completed in October 2016. In parallel, KUTEI also rebuilt sidewalks and drainage on both sides of the road and installed street lights to ensure well-lit roads at night.
With funding support from the Afghanistan Reconstruction Trust Fund (ARTF), KUTEI targets improvement of transport services through a package of interrelated interventions to build Kabul Municipality’s capacity. To date, the project has completed the rehabilitation of six main roads in Kabul city.
Improved Sanitation and Drainage
The asphalt road has enabled the Kabul Municipality to organize garbage collection in this part of the city. “Earlier there was no defined place for dumping garbage, so people would throw their garbage everywhere,” says Jan Mohammad, 42, a resident of Khair Khana area. “Now, we have specific places for people to dump their garbage. The road has enabled the municipality to collect garbage easily and keep our locality clean.”
Further, the new drainage system has also prevented flooding in homes close to the road. “When it rained, water flowed to our houses and made it a big challenge for us,” says Eajaz Ali, 19, a resident of Taimani area. “With the new road, the good drainage system keeps the water away from our houses and we are able to walk easily on the sidewalks.”
The newly asphalted road is the face of modern Kabul. It enhances traffic flow, reduces dust, and limits vehicle damage on its smooth surface. In addition, the road has benefited many small business owners running kiosks and small shops in side lanes. “When the road was muddy, people did not stop their cars to buy from our shop and the dust ruined our wares,” says Amruddin, a grocery shopkeeper in Parwan-e-II. “Now, when people see that the area around the road is clean, they are eager to buy something from our shops and our sales have increased.”