Afghanistan: Kunar valley residents tired of isolation, build own road 

In some parts of the eastern Kunar province of Afghanistan, particularly in the Nareet Valley in the Noorgul district, residents continue to live without access to modern conveniences and basic living facilities such as paved roads, electricity and even health care services.

The valley, located only 90 kilometers from the provincial capital of Asadabad, faces numerous challenges due to the difficult and often treacherous roads in and out of the area.

Residents of Nareet Valley said that the road to reach their area is extremely dangerous as vehicles run the risk of overturning on the rutted roads that cross rugged terrain.

Tired of waiting for authorities to help, locals have however taken it upon themselves to build a road – at their own expense.

Gul Sediq, a resident of Nareet Valley, spoke out about the difficulties faced by the community, particularly when it comes to getting people to health and hospital facilities.

Residents say the lack of attention to the Nareet Valley by governments and the media, has contributed to their lack of exposure to modern technology and advancements.

Gul Shabir, another resident, said the people in the valley have yet to witness many modern facilities up close.

“People residing in this valley are not familiar with modern technology at all,” said Gul Shabir.

Historically, the neglect from government authorities has been a source of frustration for the inhabitants of Nareet Valley.

Khan Gul, the Taliban’s district governor for Noorgul, said that local officials have brought this issue to the attention of “provincial authorities and international organizations, who have promised to address the problem for the betterment of the people’s lives.”

The valley is home to approximately 6,000 residents who predominantly speak local languages such as Pashayi.

In the remote areas of Nareet Valley, there are individuals who have never left the valley and have not even had the opportunity to visit the central city of Kunar.

They also have no electricity and many have never been exposed to cell phones, TVs, internet, washing machines, fridges or other modern equipment.