Afghan public protection program success paves the way for development in Jalrez

U.S. Forces Afghanistan
Courtesy Story

Date: 06.03.2009
Posted: 06.03.2009 15:23
News ID: 34499
Afghan public protection program success paves the way for development in Jalrez

KABUL, Afghanistan — Following months of hard work by the citizens of Jalrez, in Wardak province, security has improved to such a degree that development money is pouring into the district. On June 3, Afghan citizens who live in Jalrez have seen their desire for a better life and their labor come to fruition.

The governor of Wardak, Mohammad Halim Fidai, the Jalrez sub-governor, president of the Jalrez shura, shura members from all of the administrative divisions, contractors and numerous district elders were all present to show their support and witness the contracts for new development projects being signed.

The genesis of this event began months ago as the citizens of Jalrez readily volunteered for the government's new security program, the Afghan public protection program, known as the Guardians. Led by the national government in Kabul, the program is designed to get local Afghans to take charge of securing their village against militants who use them as safe havens.

The first groups of more than 240 Afghans of the Afghan public protection force completed their training March 23 and are being employed in Jalrez District. Expansion of the APPF will be based on results of this pilot program, evaluated in conjunction with community leaders, Afghan national security forces and the government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan. The Guardians are trained by the Afghan national police and are accountable to the Ministry of Interior.

The second part of this program, once the local citizens reclaim their villages from disruptive elements, is to begin the process of development which leads to economic prosperity and an enhanced quality of life.

Work on these seven projects will begin on June 6 and will include multiple wells, a bridge, repairs to several schools and retaining walls to protect bazaars. According to local contractors, these seven projects are just the beginning. There are more than 20 development projects planned for the near future. A military officer said that the APPF has been so successful that it will allow the Afghan government to begin even larger projects within the next two months. Some of these projects include an aqueduct, a clinic, mosque repairs and a canal system.

Not wanting to be left out, village elders from villages in Nerkh District spoke to governor Fidai in order to be able to become a part of APPP and share in this security and prosperity. These leaders were assured that there are enough resources and training for all of the citizens of Afghanistan to take back their future. In his speech, governor Fidai stated that the security provided by the APPF and the clearing operations performed by ANSF over the past few months will allow Jalrez to continue to prosper into the foreseeable future. Today, with the signing of the development projects, the citizens of Jalrez have reclaimed both security and prosperity from the Taliban.