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    2,000 projects completed in Balkh amid criticism

    MAZAR-I-SHARIF (PAN): Officials in northern Balkh province say nearly 2,000 welfare projects were completed in 14 districts in past few years, but the development council members call development activities unsatisfactory.

    The projects completed included bridges and roads in rural areas, flood-resistant walls, water wells and others, Rural Rehabilitation and Development (RRD) Director, Abdul Basit Aini, told a day-long fund-raising gathering in Mazar-i-Sharif, the provincial capital.

    Although Aini said the projects executed had a positive impact on the lives of local residents in 14 districts, some participants of the gathering coming from several districts complained the projects were not good enough to cater to the needs of residents.

    A development council member from Zari district, Asadullah, told Pajhwok Afghan News no such scheme had been carried out which could benefit ordinary people.

    Only five of the 27 schools in the district had proper buildings and students attended their classes in the open, he said. Of the 10 clinics, only two had buildings, he added.

    "Most of the completed projects are of low quality and of no use for people," he alleged.

    Officials say a number of water supply schemes have been completed in various districts, but a resident of Chamtal district complained they had no drinking water facility.

    A provincial council member, Amir Mohammad, said people in some villages had not been provided with a single drop of clean drinking water as yet.

    "If the Afghan government does not care for the quality of projects, it risks losing the trust of people, he said.

    However, Aini linked low quality of development schemes in most of areas to differences among people.

    He said the projects were being implemented under supervision of local people. He said his department tried its best to ensure good quality projects.