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

Female Engineer Works for Her People
A female Afghan engineer conducts studies for the USAID-supported construction of the Bamyan-Dushi Road is at work on laptop computer
As one of very few female engineers in Afghanistan, Mrs. Kohstani brings a special commitment to rebuilding her country - she is motivated by helping her people.
Fatima Kohstani is an engineer with USAID's Afghanistan Infrastructure Rehabilitation Program (IRP). With a master’s degree in Roads Engineering from Kabul Polytechnic, she has helped to design city, rural, and provincial roads in the country.

“This is a male dominated profession,” said her supervisor, IRP's Chief Structural Engineer and Transport Sector head. “Really, to find an Afghan woman who is an engineer with a master’s degree in engineering is a real credit to her.”

When Fatima was a school girl, she liked mathematics and science. She was encouraged by her father and uncle who were also engineers. Now a mother whose children are following in her footsteps, she is quick to stress the team work of engineering. A good road, she says, results from the expertise of many engineers—from surveyors to geometric designers.

Mrs. Kohstani’s specialty is hydraulic engineering. She gauges water flows and run-offs to properly design road structures like curbs, medians, culverts, and bridges. Feeding data from topographical studies and survey teams into software programs such as MXROAD and Global Mapper, she creates maps and models that show where concrete structures are needed.

She is currently focused on hydraulic issues associated with the construction of the Bamyan-Dushi Road, a 164 kilometer route that will provide a year-round alternative to the Salang Pass. She estimates that the route will need 860 culverts.

As an Afghan, Mrs. Kohstani brings a special commitment to the rebuilding of her country. “When I am passing,” she said, “I know that I built this road, that I was part of it. Now there are vehicles and people using this road. When I see this, I feel very good.”

Her motivation, she says, is simple. “I work for my people.”

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