Small efforts make big difference in Zabul

Release No: UNRELEASED April 29, 2008 PRINT | E-MAIL

KABUL, Afghanistan (Apr. 29, 2008) – Afghan elders and government representatives coordinated efforts on a variety of projects to benefit hundreds of Afghans in Zabul province recently.

One event was to provide children in Shajoy District new backpacks and school books Apr. 5.   The PRT handed out 94 school bags containing a toy, notebooks, a writing utensil, water bucket, flashlight and coloring book; 60 teacher kits with pencils, pencil sharpener, chalk, notebooks, and teacher lesson books; 30 hygiene kits, 26 bags of flour, 25 bags of rice, 17 containers of cooking oil and 180 student textbooks.

"I’m thankful for you," said Abdul Qayoum, Shajoy district administrator, about the Zabul Provincial Reconstruction Team. "I will make sure these items get to the right people."

During a separate humanitarian assistance drop, Shahr-e-Safa district representatives organized the handout of more than 100 school bags, 180 text books, 40 radios, 35 bags of rice, 25 bags of beans, 25 bags of flour, 60 teacher kits, 18 bottles of oil and 20 hygiene kits, Apr. 9.

Afghans graduate mechanics course

Ten young men from Qalat graduated a four-month basic automobile mechanics course, Apr. 14, hosted at the PRT.

"We learned these skills to help our people," said Akmal, the top performer in the class. "I will take these skills to start my mechanic shop in Qalat. I took this course in order to learn something else, and the training was good."

Akmal plans to open a shop with the second and third top performers from the course. Abrahim, the instructor, has trained nearly 300 students in his four years teaching the course.

PRT provides humanitarian aid to Moghuliz Kalay

A village elder from Moghuliz Kalay organized the distribution of humanitarian assistance Apr. 15.

Haji Wali Mohammed supervised while villagers sorted through 30 bags of rice, 30 bags of beans, 30 bags of flour, 20 bottles of cooking oil, 40 boxes of tea, 100 pairs of boots, 40 radios, 20 bags of sugar and 20 bags of salt.

PRT medics conduct medical outreach

A Zabul PRT doctor and medics conducted a village medical outreach in Kala Apr. 19. Medical personnel provided vital medication to about 30 villagers with back pain, arthritis pain and children with fevers.

Afghans Coalition forces reinforce damaged bridge

Finally, Apr. 23, Qalat Public Works representatives set up barriers on Bridge 30 in Qalat as the Afghan National Police provided security; the bridge was partially destroyed by an improvised explosive device, Apr. 9.

According to 1st Lt. Adam Lazar, Zabul PRT civil engineer, public works representatives are using the barriers to divert traffic around the damage.   "The bridge has two beams that are structurally unsound due to the blast," he said. "A local contractor will come by to assess the damage and repair and replace parts of the bridge. They’re just keeping the traffic off of it in the mean time so it doesn’t deteriorate faster."

The mission of the Zabul PRT is to conduct civil-military operations in Zabul province to extend the reach and legitimacy of the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan by promoting good governance and justice, enabling an effective Afghan security force through training and mentorship, and facilitating reconstruction, development and economic growth by developing projects on the leading edge of the Afghan National Development Strategy.