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FEATURE STORY

Road Lights bring Life to Kabul Neighborhoods

November 18, 2015

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For residents of the third Macrorayan, the improvement in road conditions has been a long awaited project. It has smooth roads with a footpath and median for pedestrian safety which has been beautified with greenery.  

Rumi Consultancy/ World Bank

Story Highlights
  • An urban transport project to improve road conditions in several areas of Kabul city is raising hopes for a safer and cleaner environment for residents, and for better business for local traders.
  • Well-lit, wide roads lined with sidewalks and covered drains are some of the deliverables of the Kabul Urban Transport Efficiency Improvement Project, implemented by Kabul Municipality.
  • The Afghanistan Reconstruction Trust Fund’s grant support to the project targets improvement of transport services through a package of interrelated interventions to build Kabul Municipality’s capacity.

KABUL CITY, Kabul Province – Sodias Karimi, 26, is proud to bring light to the lives of Kabul residents. Sodais, an electrical engineer, works to light the roads currently under reconstruction in Kabul using modern methods.

He is pleased that he has the opportunity to apply the knowledge he learnt at university in India in the capital city of his own country. So far, he has applied his modern knowledge to a road in the fourth Macrorayan and the Kabul Nendari road, both of which were built under the Kabul Urban Transport Efficiency Improvement (KUTEI) Project

“This is one of Kabul Municipality’s initiatives to prioritize lighting of these roads,” explains Sodias.  “If it weren’t for this initiative, I would not have been able to put my experiences in action in my own country and I would have probably ended up doing some ordinary work.”

Sodais, who just completed his work on the third Macrorayan road, is pleased with the outcome of his work: “The electricity of those roads is provided by the government. When I pass by those roads at night, their illumination and beauty pleases me. I feel especially proud when the people who have seen me working on those roads give me kudos for my work.” 

The reconstruction of the third Macrorayan road began in July 2013 and completed in August 2015. Reconstruction of this road and the one between the second and third Macrorayan is undertaken by the same project worth $2 million. This funding is provided to the Kabul Municipality through KUTEI, which is supported by the Afghanistan Reconstruction Trust Fund (ARTF). The ARTF’s $90.5 million grant to KUTEI targets improvement of transport services through a package of interrelated interventions to build Kabul Municipality’s capacity.


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The reconstruction of the third Macrorayan road has contributed to creating employment for dozens of laborers.

Rumi Consultancy / World Bank

" If the road is well lit, people will tend to commute more, which will have a positive impact on my business because that way I can stay here longer and sell more fruits.  "

Abdul Rahman

Fruit seller

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A street vendor is able to sell some items in the community in a safe and clean space.

Rumi Consultancy / World Bank

Project creates jobs

Engineer Mushtaq Massoud, 59, who is in charge of the project in the third Macrorayan, explains the work resulted in a road 1,003 meters long and 9 meters wide, lined and covered with vehicle weight bearing drains, and road lighting. In the meantime, work on the 900-meter long and 26-meter wide road connecting Massoud roundabout and Abdulhaq roundabout is almost complete. It will have a footpath and median for pedestrian safety and beautified with greenery.

The reconstruction of the third Macrorayan road has also contributed to creating employment for dozens of laborers. “Around 60 to 80 persons benefit from this project daily as bread winners for their households,” says Engineer Massoud, “we pay masons $12 and other unskilled laborers $7 per day.”

Adalat Khan, 30, is one such mason. Adalat, who lives in a 20-member household, was unemployed before being hired for this project. “My wife and I have six children. Life was tough, I was jobless and overwhelmed by hardship,’ he says. “I would like to thank those who launched this project in which people like me can get a job.”

Improved road conditions long awaited

For residents of the third Macrorayan, the improvement in road conditions has been a long awaited project that they see as an opportunity to relieve them from the problems they encounter frequently. 

Abdul Azim, 56, who has been watching the construction of this road around the clock from his balcony, is delighted that the road works have resumed after the winter break. “This area did not have drainage. The market is also close by which contributes to the crowd. The rainwater would flow down to the market and stand still on the road. Now the road will no longer be as crowded nor will it flood,” Abdul Azim says.

Rahman, 37, a fruit seller on the roadside in the third Macrorayan, is looking forward to better business after the completion of the project. “Currently the latest I can stay here to sell is until 7 pm, but if the road is well lit, people will tend to commute more, which will have a positive impact on my business because that way I can stay here longer and sell more fruits.”  

The youth, however, look at the reconstruction of this road in their neighborhood from a different perspective. Tamana, 23, student of a private law school in Kabul says, “Sometimes I go for a walk with my family to the fourth Macrorayan road in the evenings because it is well lit. Once this road is built in the same way, we won’t need to go anywhere else because our own place will be just as beautiful.” 


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