News: Panjshir projects completed in Dara, Khenj districts
Story by 2nd Lt. Ashleigh Peck
By U.S. Air Force 2nd Lt. Ashleigh Peck
Panjshir Provincial Reconstruction Team Public Affairs
PANJSHIR PROVINCE, Afghanistan – Leadership from the Provincial Rural Rehabilitation and Development organization and the National Solidarity Program held a ribbon-cutting ceremony representing the completion of four infrastructure projects in Dara and Khenj districts Jan. 11.
The projects included the construction of two micro-hydro systems in Dara, a bridge with a retaining wall, and an irrigation and micro-hydro canal in Khenj.
Dara District Deputy Gov. Abdul Hashim, Panjshir RRD director, Pair Muhammad Yaftali, Panjshir NSP program management unit director, engineer Ghulam Mahfooz and Panjshir Provincial Reconstruction Team commander U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Joseph Blevins of Oregonia, Ohio, spoke during the ceremony.
Speakers expressed appreciation for the efforts of the people, the NSP and the PRT.
“If the people and the non-governmental organizations work together, we will have more stable projects like this for the future,” said Yaftali through an interpreter.
Preceding the ribbon-cutting ceremony, power production was initiated for the Gaywaj village micro-hydro system in Dara.
“The system will provide power to 136 families,” said Mahfooz.
“The Gaywaj Village micro-hydro system canal was supported by the Community Development Committee and the NSP and the generator was provided by the PRT,” said U.S. Army Spc. Aaron Settlemyre, Panjshir PRT civil affairs specialist and Zeeland, Mich., native. “All labor was done by the villagers.”
Many families are seeing positive effects from the other three projects as well.
The Dara micro-hydro system in Qale Now Telkho Village provides power to 268 families. The new Dahan Riwat bridge and retaining wall in Khenj District provides 312 families access to the main road. The irrigation and micro-hydro canals in Aziz Big Khil and Chek Cheshma villages provide power to 604 families in Khenj District, said Mahfooz.
“We hope to do more projects just like these,” said Blevins. “The PRT is always happy to do projects with the NSP through the CDC process because it means it’s a project that is important to the people.”