Assadullah Khalid, the governor of Kandahar province, shovels gravel at the groundbreaking ceremony for a road construction project in Panjwayi Monday. The project will employ nearly 500 Afghan workers from Panjwayi District.
KABUL, Afghanistan (April 17, 2008) – Gov. Assadullah Khalid, district leader Hajii Baran and Brig. Gen. Guy Laroche, Canadian commander of Joint Task Force Afghanistan, joined Afghan workers as they began work on the road construction project in Panjwayi Monday.
The project, employing 475 Afghan workers from Panjwayi District, will stretch for six and a half kilometres and marks a new beginning for the district which has witnessed significant unemployment throughout the last several years.
This particular road construction project was guided by discussions with community members, including the governor and district leaders, and with Canadian government development workers. ISAF engineers in conjunction with Afghan technologists collaborated to design the road.
“This project represents a new beginning for the residents of Panjwayi,” said Brig. Gen. Laroche. “This is a road that is being built by Afghans for Afghans and will bring prosperity to you and your families for many years to come.”
Once completed, the paved portion of the road will be eight meters wide; however, with the inclusion of gravel shoulders, this will extend the width to 16 meters, allowing for plenty of traffic manoeuvrability in and out of Panjwayi.
The workers are progressing at about 500 meters a month, according to Captain Pascal Blanchette, a Canadian construction engineer supervising the project.
Negotiations with local Afghan leaders are already underway to extend the road beyond its current limit. The construction will continue well into 2009.