Facilitation of Local Economic Growth

Facilitation of Local Economic Growth

Hassan Bigi, a small village consisted of 28 families is located alongside the Kokcha River in Shahr-e-Buzurg district some 50 km away from the district center and almost 30 km away from Faizabad the center of Badakhshan province. Most of the villagers in this community carry out farming activities and earn their living from agriculture. The cable-stayed cradle over the river which connects the community with the main road always posed a potential threat to the life of villagers, particularly to children and women. Indeed, the stormy and turbulent river has taken the lives of several villagers over the past few years.

Following the formation of a Community Development Council (CDC) through the Citizens’ Charter National Priority Program of the Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation and Development (MRRD/CCNPP), the CDC members came together and gave top priority to the construction of a much-needed road to find a permanent solution to their transportation difficulties.

Sid, Abdul Satar, the CDC Head: “We could come by vehicles only up to Barlas suspension bridge and then had to cover around 2.5 km distance to reach our village by foot. We used to transport our commodities by donkeys and mules while villagers had to cross the river by the cable-stayed cradle located 300 meters to the east of our community. However, when the cradle was affected by rain or flood, we were obliged to cover 2.5 km distance in more than one hour to reach the Barlas suspension bridge and cross the river over there. We were carrying the patients in wooden stretchers up to Barlas Bridge. The serious patients would usually lose their life on the way before reaching the bridge. Thanks to MRRD/CCNPP – any types of vehicles such as trucks, tractors, cars, etc. can easily come to our village after the road construction project has been completed. Without delays, now we can take both our dairy products such as milk, cheese, butter, etc. and agricultural products like fruit and vegetables to the markets in Kisham, Faizabad and Takhar. The construction of the road has helped villagers experience a 50% increase in their economic condition.”

“An 11-year-old child fell down the cable-stayed cradle into the river and lost his life while he was going to school two years ago. We could manage to find his body into the water four kilometers away from the cradle almost until midnight. Moreover, when women, children and the elderly reach the cable-stayed cradle from the main road, they have to wait for hours to find young boys with strong arms who can bring them inside the village from across the river by pulling the cradle cables hard. Fortunately, the road constructed with financial support of MRRD/CCNPP has connected us directly with the Badakhshan – Takhar Highway which may play a pivotal role in the improvement of our community’s well-being and infrastructure, recounted Muhammad Ghaib”, a CDC member.

Now, the villagers can travel back and forth with great comfort on 2.58-kilometer road constructed by the Citizens’ Charter at a sum of AFN 2,090,000 funded by the Citizens’ Charter including 10% community contribution (financial, labor or in-kind). Moreover and more, around 40 villagers were provided with employment opportunities every day for a period of two months during the road project implementation.