Development Program Delivers Cleanliness and Safety to Kabul Neighborhood

June 30, 2015


Mursal enjoys a walk through the short alley she once dreaded – the 5,000 people in phase 2 of Guzargah where she lived enjoy the paved streets too.

Rumi Consultancy / World Bank

Story Highlights
  • After years of living with rutted streets strewn with waste, residents of a Kabul neighborhood are enjoying the benefits that newly paved roads and a drainage bring.
  • The infrastructural improvements were carried out under the Kabul Municipal Development Program, implemented by Kabul Municipality and supported by the Afghanistan Reconstruction Trust Fund (ARTF).
  • The program, which will improve municipal services in selected neighborhoods in Kabul city, has to date reached residents in 34 percent of its targeted area of some 1,770 hectares of government-owned land.

KABUL CITY, Kabul Province –The distance between Mursal’s home and the main road is barely 20 meters, but, until recently, she would still be afraid of walking through this short alley. Thankfully, Mursal, 19, is now rid of her fear of walking in her neighborhood of Gozargah, in the western part of Kabul city.

Mursal, a journalism student, lives in phase 2 of Guzargah, home to 5,000 people in 946 households. “Our streets were unpaved and since this neighborhood is close to the river, the streets would become filled with water and mud during the rain and winter season,” she recalls. “There were no sewers either to drain the water away, our streets resembled the river. Walking through these streets was my biggest dread, which fortunately have now come to an end.”

Reconstruction of 43 streets in the Guzargah area began on April 4, 2014, and ended on January 14, 2015, under the Kabul Municipal Development Program (KMDP). KMDP, with $110 million grant support from the Afghanistan Reconstruction Trust Fund (ARTF), is implemented by the Kabul Municipality to improve street conditions in neighborhoods such as the one in Guzargah. KMDP’s objectives are to increase access to basic municipal services in selected residential areas of Kabul city; redesign Kabul Municipality’s Financial Management System to support better service delivery; and enable early response in the event of an eligible emergency. 

KMDP is expected to benefit over 770,000 people through services provided in some 1,770 hectares of government-owned land. So far, there have been more than 310,000 direct beneficiaries (over 100,000 from upgrading and more than 210,000 from trunk roads) and over 76,000 indirect beneficiaries, including students and staff of several schools and institutions of higher education. About three-quarters of the beneficiaries are women and children. In addition, more than 670,000 man-days of temporary employment have been generated.


Mohammad Daud is glad that he has lived to see life change and people enjoying the amenitites in the Gozargah neighborhood.

Rumi Consultancy / World Bank

" “The rough streets had even deteriorated the security situation in this area because people would not dare to walk around in those difficult streets during nighttime. But now people live in comfort enjoying different amenities including improved security.”  "

Mohammad Daud

Head, Gozar Cooperative Shura, Gozargah neighborhood, Kabul city


The dream of clean and safe streets for the residents of Guzargah is now a reality.

Rumi Consultancy / World Bank

To date, some 618 hectares have been upgraded, reaching almost 34 percent of the targeted area. Within a year of implementation, KMDP has delivered 13.17 kilometers (km) of trunk roads for $3.9 million and upgraded some 618 hectares of settlements for $15.6 million. The upgraded areas have benefited from the construction of some 77 km neighborhood roads, and about 121 km community drains. Works have been executed to high standards, as the technical designs are subject to quality assurance and quality control procedures equivalent to international standards.

Dream of safe and clean streets comes true

Azizullah, 35, KMDP Supervisor and Design Engineer for the Guzargah project, says this subproject covered a total of 45 hectares of land. “We paved streets of a total length of 5,675 meters. The width of the streets varied from 4 to 6 meters. However, the more important issue was that of sewage, which constituted the main problem for these residents. As a result, 5,658 meters of drainage were also built as part of this project.” According to Azizullah, a sum of $480,000 was allocated for the project, most of which was spent.

For the residents of Guzargah the dream of clean and safe streets that they had not imagined would come true has been realized. These unprecedented changes only took place in the Guzargah neighborhood following the implementation of the KMDP project.

Mohammad Daud, 56, who is the head of the Gozar Cooperative Shura (Neighborhood Cooperative Council) in Guzargah, says he constantly strived to tackle the challenges of the community, but was not sure if he would really witness the reconstruction of the streets in his neighborhood: “I was born and raised here and finally became an old man. I have seen people living in misery and suffering here because of these streets. The rough streets had even deteriorated the security situation in this area because people would not dare to walk around in those difficult streets during nighttime. But now people live in comfort enjoying different amenities including improved security.”