JALALABAD (Pajhwok): Local officials in eastern Laghman province say 144 projects costing 1.2 billion afghanis have been implemented in the province during the last two years and a half and another projects worth 1.5 billion afghanis are in different stages of completion.
The projects created job opportunities for thousands of people and benefited several thousands of families in the province, according to local officials.
Projects completed in the last two years and a half
Laghman governor’s spokesman, Sarhadi Zwak, told Pajhwok Afghan News that after his appointment as the governor, Abdul Jabbar Naimi, held meetings with the ministries concerned and shared problems of Laghman people with the central government for solution.
Zwak credited the governor’s for his efforts that led the central government to implement many projects in Laghman.
He said 144 projects costing 1.2 billion afghanis were executed in Laghman during the past two years and six months.
The projects include construction of irrigation dams, streams, footpaths, culverts, buildings for government departments, rehabilitation of heritate sites, roads, parks and survey of power dams, he said.
More than half of these projects were implemented by ministries, Zwak said, adding 93 major and small projects worth 1.33 billion afghanis were completed with development budget of ministries concerned while a number of other projects worth 169 million afghanis were implemented by non-governmental organizations in Laghman.
He said the major projects included construction of Dawlat Shah, Kala Gosh and Watan Gato power dams and surveying of Shahi and Gamberi irrigation canals.
As a result of these projects, most of government departments in Laghman got new buildings while such buildings for the rest of departments are under construction, he added.
Zwak said the projects’ implementation created jobs for more than 40,000 people directly and indirectly and benefited thousands of families.
Under construction projects
The governor’s spokesman said that projects worth 1.57 billion were still under implementation in Laghman.
Besides government- launched projects, a number of schemes worth 77 million afghanis are in different stages of completion by nongovernmental organizations.
The under implementation projects include Saraj Historic Castle, Mehtarlam Baba Shrine and some other reconstruction projects such as construction of a road in Badpakh district.
Problems challenging projects’ implementation
Sarhadi Zwak said they faced no serious problem during implementation of the mentioned projects.
“Projects are implemented based on people’s demand, so people do not create problems for development process and they also do not allow militants to create problems”, he said.
Laghman governor Abdul Jabbar Naimi said that reconstruction projects should be a priority because it generated jobs for people, something crucial for peace and stability.
He also said they did not face any problems during implementation of reconstruction projects. “If any problem arises, it can be solved by local tribal elders and influential figures”, he said.
Public representatives and residents
A provincial council member, Mohammad Zahir Hussainkhel, told Pajhwok that they had discussed with people their support for projects before the schemes could be launched.
He thanked the current Laghman administration, particularly Governor Abdul Jabbar Naimi, for changing the province with development projects.
A civil society activist in Laghman, Zabihullah Niazai, said the youth also strongly supported implementation of projects.
Despite security problems in the province, development projects were being successfully implemented, he added.
Another civil society activist, Koko Gul Safi, said women were ready to mediate between militants and the government if the former created any problems for projects.
Projects management and balance
The Laghman governor said they were careful about projects’ management and their balanced implementation.
Answering a question about NGOs, he said: “We organize two coordination meetings in a month, the officials of nongovernmental organizations also attend these meetings where we discuss under construction projects and make decisions on next projects.”
Provincial council head, Rafiullah Mamozai, also said projects were executed in Laghman as per wishes of local residents.
Hanifullah Pashai, head of thte Pashai Youth Association in Laghman, said that the local administration also paid attention to the youth and provided them with recreation and education facilities and job opportunities.
Projects monitoring and satisfaction on local level
Officials of the provincial government, the provincial council members and people of Laghman always monitor uplift projects in order to be satisfied with their implementation.
The governor’s spokesman Sarhadi Zwak said Governor Abdul Jabbar Naeemi always monitored implementation process of uplift projects and often prevented disorder and corruption.
He added people also monitored the uplift projects and used to a problem they noticed with the governor. The best example was unearthing problems in the Seraj Kala project, he said of people’s liaison with the government.
Hanifullah Pashai said he had observed more than 12 development projects and shared shortcomings in those projects with the government. Rafaiullah Mamozai, head of the Provincial Council, said the demands of people of the provincial capital and all districts were considered in uplift projects.
Asadullah Khadem, a tribal elder from Alingar district, said Governor Naeemi always accepted everyone’s demand and paid attention to agriculture, livestock, health and other areas equally.
Malak Mahbob Shah, a tribal elder of Padesh district, said work on construction of a road was launched in the district this year, fulfilling a longstanding demand of local residents.
Haji Awal Khan, a tribal elder from Qagayio district, said a huge quantity of vegetables was produced in Qagayio but they were sold at throwaway prices due to the non-availability of cold storages.
Haji Hafizullah, a tribal elder in Alishang district, said special steps should be taken for provision of health facilities in the district and jobs should be generated for the youth.
Future plans for uplift projects implementation:
Provincial officials say uplift projects worth millions of afghanis would be implemented in Laghman in near future, which would not only benefit the province but the country as well.
Tangi Dawlat Shah, Watan Goat and Gala Ghosh dams, Shahi and Gamberi canals, cricket stadium and construction of a separate business market for women are among the future projects, said Sarhadi Zwak.
In addition, he said, construction of buildings for government institutions, schools, bridges, culverts, roads and job generation schemes were other projects to be implemented.
Four months back, Chief Executive Dr. Abdullah Abdullah attended a huge gathering in Laghman, in which a report about rehabilitation projects in the province was presented and some new projects were inaugurated.