Tuesday, 15 November 2016

Over 50 percent of Afghanistan’s road infrastructure suffering from poor maintenance

Majority of road infrastructure in Afghanistan need rehabilitation beyond repair, a U.S. government watchdog said Saturday, highlighting also poor maintenance. According to supervising body Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, the U.S. spent $2.8 billon to construct and repair Afghanistan’s road infrastructure since 2002, but majority of it was deteriorated or destroyed in the hand of insurgents. “USAID and DOD (Department of Defense) spent millions of dollars on road construction in Afghanistan, but have had only limited success in ensuring the long-term sustainability of those roads,” the report said. Citing USAID estimates, the report said that 54 percent of Afghanistan’s road infrastructure suffered from poor maintenance caused by poor security, lack of capacity and corruption. SIGAR said that it assessed the condition of 1,640 kilometers of U.S.-funded national and regional highways, nearly a quarter of all paved roads in Afghanistan. The results showed that most of the highways needed to be repaired. It noted that the U.S. military in Afghanistan had “acknowledged that the Afghan government was unable to sustain the roads that had been transferred to it.” Last year, an official at the Afghan Ministry of Public Works last year admitted that 20 percent of the roads in Afghanistan were destroyed and the remaining 80 percent continued to deteriorate. Kabul-Kandahar road, which is one of the major highways in the country, also needs rebuilding than repair, according to the official was quoted in the report. The report also cited lack of finding to perform necessary maintenance of roads. According to Afghan officials, it would cost $100 million to carry out the necessary emergency, routine, periodic, and winter maintenance on road infrastructure in the country. This comes as the Ministry of Finance has provided $21.3 million annually for the efforts.

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