DAMAN DISTRICT, Kandahar Province – It is midday in Ghra village and farmers are leaving their farm for their homes. Eleventh grader Jamil Ahmad, 19, has just returned home from school on his motorcycle.
Not too long ago, Jamil had to walk the long way to school on a dusty, unpaved road. “Ever since the road in our village was paved, I started riding my motorcycle to school,” he says gladly. “In the past I had to walk to school, which was a long way and I was usually late to class. The dust on the way was also annoying. I am on time now and there is no dust to bother me.”
The newly asphalted road runs through Ghra village in Daman district, located in the southern part of Kandahar city. The 10-kilometer long Ghra Road also passes through Haji Mohammad Shah village and Zaaker Sharif village in Dand district, connecting all three villages to Kandahar city center via Spin Boldak highway. Spin Boldak highway connects Kandahar city, the provincial capital, to the neighboring country of Pakistan.
Asphalting Ghra Road has brought many essential facilities to the people living on both sides of the road by providing quick access to services and markets in Kandahar city center. Previously, road conditions were either muddy in the winter or dusty in the summer, causing great difficulties in transporting people and goods.
“Before the road was built, we had to sell our grapes, pomegranate, watermelon, and eggplants at lower prices in the market because the road was bumpy and our products would get damaged on the way,” says Haji Peer Mohammad, 53, an elder from the area. “Farmers from the villages on both sides of this road now take their produce to the market on time and without any damage. They are able to sell them at reasonable prices.”
As a result, farmers like Rahmatullah, 50, a resident of Haji Mohammad village, earn twice as much from selling fruits and other produce from his farm and orchard.