New Keshim-Faizabad road spurs prosperity
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in a statement, said the new road reduced travel time between Keshim and Faizabad from about 7.5 to 1-1.5 hours, and is now used by almost 1, 600 vehicles a day, vastly facilitating travel for commercial, educational, and health care purposes in the region.
The United States Ambassador to Afghanistan Ryan Crocker said the road is also intended to have a positive impact on security in the region.
“The inauguration of this highway comes at an important time for both Afghanistan and the United States. The increased security will assist the Afghan National Security Forces as they takeover more responsibility across the country,” said Crocker.
On Tuesday, Crocker, Afghan Minister of Public Works Eng Najibullah Aoudgan, Governor of Badakhshan Shah Waliullah Adeeb and other US and Afghan officials inaugurated the new highway.
The USAID undertook the reconstruction of the road in 2009 in close cooperation with the Ministry of Public Works and the project was completed in September 2010. The road has nine bridges, more than 600 culverts and 260,000 tonnes of asphalt were used in its construction.
For almost two years, the road had brought considerable improvements in the lives of Badakhshan residents. Due to reduced travel times, the 1, 200 girls who attend Girls School Number 1 in Faizabad now have a greater chance of attending a university, said the statement.
Medical improvements due to the road are also evident. Patient loads have doubled in the past two years, as the road has facilitated the ability of midwives and health practitioners to reach clinics in the area by vehicle, as opposed to by donkey or horse.
The road also enables greater access to the UNICEF-sponsored hospital in Faizabad for women with at-risk pregnancies.
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