Afghanistan: Kunar valley connected by road, after a 30-year wait

After a 30-year wait a valley in Kunar province in eastern Afghanistan has finally been connected to the rest of the province following the completion of a 12 km gravel road.

The Cheera Gul Valley, located in Nari district, has been disconnected from parts of the province for decades. However, despite the new road being of poor quality, residents in the valley have welcomed the initiative. They said that with not having had the road, they have suffered enormously over the years.

The initiative was approved under the previous government as part of a Defense Ministry project to protect its forces in the remote valley and was completed after nearly two years.

“Today the residents are happy and are celebrating; this is because they have suffered a lot and today they are so happy. We call on officials to make utmost efforts for us because it is a remote and a border area,” said Abdul Wahid, a resident of Nari district.

The residents said that taking patients to hospital had been one of their biggest challenges and that the absence of a road had led to the deaths of some patients.

“We used to carry patients on beds, especially women. They either died on the way or if they survived, they would be in a coma when they arrived at a hospital,” said Haji Amin Gul, a resident of Nari district in Kunar.

Meanwhile, other residents said they are excited to see vehicles going to their villages for the first time in their life.

“We are happy to see vehicles coming to this valley. We are really super excited,” said Mohammad Khan, a resident of Nari.

Nari is a populous district in Kunar which is located in a remote area that borders Pakistan. Its residents said they want development projects to be implemented in the district.