Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Lots of Roads - Little Maintenance

The United States and other international partners have built over 10,000 miles of roads in Afghanistan over the past decade. In 2001 there were only 50 miles of paved road. So a lot of money, time, and energy has been put into road construction. The massive build up of the road system was seen as a way to provide for more security, more economic growth, provide jobs, and join the various ethnically-diverse sections of the country together tying it to a strong, central government in Kabul. While billions have been poured into road construction there has not been much progress into the maintenance of these new roads. As a result of low maintenance, over use, poor construction, and the Taliban planting IEDs which leave large craters the roads of Afghanistan are quickly deteriorating. The international partners (along with the United States) would provide the Afghan Ministry of Public Works money to maintain the roads but the ministry has proven itself of disbursing the money to contracts for the repairs - much of the money goes to the Dubai bank accounts of the corrupt ministry officials. Read more in "U.S.-built roads in Afghanistan crumble for lack of care", Stars and Stripes, February 2, 2014.

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