Taliban-destroyed bridge in Kunduz still unrepaired, residents struggle

In the Aliabad district of Kunduz, a bridge vital for connecting the district center to over 100 villages remains unrepaired since its destruction by the Taliban in 2015.

The bridge, which also links Aliabad to Chahar Dara district, was a critical route for residents.

Local inhabitants now face the challenge of crossing the river by boat, a time-consuming and risky endeavor, especially for those needing urgent medical care. “Our patients have died en route to health centers due to the delay,” said Ibrahim, a resident.

Saifullah, another local, highlighted the daily disruptions caused by the bridge’s absence. “It affects everything, from reaching the university to transporting patients to the hospital in time,” he shared.

Gul Mohammad, the boat owner, and his assistant, Mohammad Dawood, said they ferry 2 to 10 cars across the river daily, charging 20 to 30 Afghanis per one-way trip. However, they noted the risks involved, including instances of the boat sinking with passengers, cars, and even women and patients onboard.

The bridge’s destruction has also impacted local agriculture, with farmers unable to access their lands across the river. Mohammad Din, a resident, expressed the urgent need for the bridge’s reconstruction.

Originally built by US-led NATO troops at a cost of $1 million in the 1388 solar year (2009-2010), the bridge was crucial for connecting Aliabad district to four valleys. The Taliban targeted the bridge to prevent government security forces from accessing villages.