Road from Shugnan to Mai Mai - AKDN
In coordination with local government, AKDN surveyed an existing route extending from the district centre of Shughnan to the edge of Mai Mai district, and agreed on sections to construct or improve that would make the road passable by cars. Approximately 85km out of the 130km route has been rehabilitated.
Licensed construction companies are not established in the project area along the Shugnan to Mai Mai road. Therefore, AKDN has helped to build capacity in Shugnan district for road construction rather than hire a contractor externally. AKDN brought together all 29 of the Afghan Community Development Councils in Shugnan and announced that local business persons involved in construction could apply to widen the road. A total of five local contractors were selected, each covering a segment of the road. In most cases, the contractors paired up with Tajik counterparts for the necessary machinery required.
Using this approach, project funds that would normally flow out of the border district to larger contractors have supported small-scale local private sector contractors. During the project, all five contractors formally registered as organisations (three of the contractors came together to form one registered company and the remaining two registered independently). Thus, the capacity for local business to work on additional infrastructure projects has been enhanced and will contribute to project sustainability.
For the first time, cross-border private sector in the construction industry cooperation has been established. While this approach took time to set up, more time (and funds) would have been spent working with external parties due to the large distances involved in accessing the project site. With the experience of this project, AKDN will continue to facilitate local private contractors to participate in projects, building long-term capacity and expertise.