KABUL CITY – Baker Jamshid is diligently focused on the dough he is kneading. He works with four other men, who hum as they prepare dough, bake bread, and serve their customers with a smile. Jamshid’s bakery is located in one of the side lanes of Kabul’s busy Kart-e-Char locality.
Kart-e-Char is a different place from what it was until recently. No dust, no mud, and no potholes—instead, well-spaced sidewalks and freshly planted saplings make the locality a pleasure to walk in. As Jamshid says, “Now the condition of the roads is very good and this has had a positive impact on business. Earlier, this street was muddy and people would walk in, dirtying our shop.”
Kart-e-Char is one of the oldest areas in District 3 in the capital city. The localities in District 3 have benefited from the Kabul Municipal Development Program (KMDP), under which Kabul Municipality has been paving streets, and building sidewalks, culverts, and drainage systems in the city.dra
The Kart-e-Char project in District 3 took only a short time to complete in 2016, developing 33 lanes, totaling 4.5 kilometers in length. Drains ensure the lanes remain free of waterlogging and culverts that connect them with main streets provide easy access for pedestrians and small vehicles.
Better city infrastructure translates directly to a visible improvement in the quality of life for the thousands who live in the upgraded areas. Najibullah, a resident of Naw Abad Deh Dana area in District 7 is grateful for the work carried out under KMDP. With the redevelopment of Deh Dana streets, it is no longer mud and water that greet visitors but wide, clean sidewalks.
Commuting costs have also come down as a result of the locality upgrade. Najibullah says that taxi fares have halved, “Earlier, taxis would charge 150 afghanis (about $2.25), but now travel cost has almost halved to 70 afghanis since they come willingly to our lanes.” Garbage disposal has become easier too, resulting in cleaner streets.
“Overall, KMDP has redeveloped many streets and lanes,” says Mustafa Masoud, a KMDP road engineer. “The quality of life for over 13,000 families living in Districts 2, 3, and 7 have improved as a result of work carried out under KMDP.”