Afghanistan Infrastructure and Rehabilitation Services Program(IRP) written in English, Dari and Pashto
Keshim-Faizabad Road, looking upstream on Kotcha River Schoolgirls at well pumping clean water Afghan workers building part of a bridge Asphalt being laid on an Afghan road A section of North West Kabul Power Plant Aerial view of the Kajakai Dam

Infrastructure Work Brings Jobs, Stability
Tarahkil Power Plant employees, including Abdul Wahid Yakubi (second from left) who has been with the USAID sponsored project for a year, receive certificates.
Tarahkil Power Plant employees, including Abdul Wahid Yakubi (second from left) who has been with the USAID sponsored project for a year, receive certificates.
Much of the success of infrastructure projects in Afghanistan would not be possible without the contributions of Afghans themselves. Recognizing the extraordinary contribution of Afghan staff to the effort to rebuild their country, Certificates of Appreciation were issued at the beginning of the year to 342 Afghan employees working for the USAID-funded Afghanistan Infrastructure Rehabilitation Program (IRP). A third of these employees possess tenure of 18 months or longer. The Afghanistan IRP team, which builds roads, bridges, and power plants, is an important source of jobs for local Afghans. The project is implementing a number of model training programs that help build workers’ skills and allow them to assume greater responsibilities on different projects.

Employing local workers increases the community’s stake in the project’s success as well as helps to ensure the sustainability of the project. IRP counts among its greatest achievements the success of Afghan employees. Tarakhil Power Plant employee Abdul Wahid Yacqubi, who spent his first year as a Health and Safety Assistant, expressed the kind of pride in his work that bodes well for both his and the plant’s future. “When I started,” Abdul Wahid said, “I didn’t know about safety. Now I know everything about safety. I also have learned many other things—time management, saving money, reporting to my manager, doing my duties on time.”

Of the 342 recipients of certificates, Ali Ahmad, a veteran gardener known for his beautiful roses and well kept yards, is the longest serving employee, having begun his work on October 1, 2006.

Originally from Charikar in Parwan province, Ahmad now lives in Kabul with his family, four daughters and three sons, all of whom attend school. His eldest daughter and son are in the 8th form.

“My salary is higher, and my life has gradually changed and become better,” Ahmed said. “My own duty, I love it.”

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