Wednesday, August 16, 2006

 

AFGHANISTAN - - BRIDGE TO FUTURE


Parwan government, Bagram PRT build ‘bridge to future’
27 July 2006
By Maj. David Kurle455th Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs

NAWAJ, PARWAN PROVINCE , Afghanistan – In the culmination of more than a year’s efforts, the Parwan deputy governor cut the ribbon on a bridge July 11 in the northern part of this province connecting Afghans to their country.
The new bridge spans a river in the mountains and was built with the future in mind as it accommodates both foot and vehicle traffic. It will connect 600 to 700 families in mountain villages to a main highway and, by extension, to the rest of Afghanistan.
Two Afghan men on crutches cross a newly constructed bridge linking the village of Nawaj and other mountain villages to a main road in Parwan Province. The bridge, an initiative of the Parwan government and supported by the Bagram Provincial Reconstruction team is the first step in a transportation and flood control project for this area of Parwan. (Photo by Air Force Maj. David Kurle, 455th Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs)
“This is a very great day,” said Parwan Deputy Governor Gulam Sedeeq Sedeeq as he cut the ribbon to open the bridge. “Now that you have this bridge you have to make sure the bridge is maintained. You must take care of it.”
The bridge is part of a bigger project that will provide a transportation system and flood control in this mountainous region. The initiative is part of the National Solidarity Program, a reconstruction movement by the people of Afghanistan to rebuild after decades of war.
The new bridge, made from concrete and steel, replaced a footbridge where two people were killed last year, said Deputy Governor Sedeeq. It will provide a safe route for village children to travel back and forth to school.
“The people of this village, from the Jihad to the resistance of the Taliban, have been through a lot of hardships,” he said. “Of course it benefits the students, because they can now get to class on time.”
The Bagram Provincial Reconstruction Team, led by Air Force Lt. Col. Donald Koehler, oversaw the contract on the project and organized the $38,000 in funding to complete it.
“The people of Nawaj are the reason this is here and this is their bridge,” Koehler said. “This bridge is a bridge to the future that will connect them with greater access to medical care and markets for their goods.”
There are 12 PRTs in Afghanistan , which perform security, governmental interfacing with the provincial governors, and lead the reconstruction efforts in their assigned province. Six of the teams are led by the Air Force, which became involved this year when the Army asked for help.
“Today’s the conclusion to a long process of opening this bridge,” said Army Capt. Don Johnson, the PRT member in charge of the bridge project. “It’s just one step in rebuilding the infrastructure in the Parwan Province. “It just shows the people their government still looks out for them. ‘
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