Carpentry market suffers in Kandahar amid economic downturn

KANDAHAR, Afghanistan — Carpenters in Kandahar report a significant downturn in their market, with many struggling to cover the rent for their shops due to a decrease in demand for their work.

The economic challenges facing the region have impacted both the availability of suitable workspaces and the purchasing power of potential customers, leading to a reduced workload for local carpenters.

“In previous years, we worked day and night and had a robust market for our products. Now, our work has dwindled, and customers are few,” said Zameer Ahmed, a carpenter in Kandahar. Ahmed, like his peers, crafts a variety of items including cupboards, gates, and traditional kalkin, tailoring his work to customer requests.

Carpenters in the area specialize in producing and selling wooden furniture and fixtures such as wardrobes, tables, benches, chairs, gates, and windows. However, the weakened economy has left many residents unable to afford new construction or furniture, directly impacting the carpentry trade.

Mohammad Rasool, another local carpenter, emphasized the cyclical nature of the issue, noting, “If there was more work, people would be busy and have the means to buy. But without work, we lack customers.”

Local carpenters asked Taliban officials in Kandahar to support the growth of the carpentry industry in hopes of revitalizing the market.

“The market for our carpentry work has weakened significantly; I’d say it’s decreased by 50%,” said Basir Ahmad Rahimi, echoing the concerns of his colleagues.

The return of the Taliban to power has seen a dimming market for various professions in Afghanistan, including carpentry. Artisans attribute this decline to a stagnant economy, where residents prioritize basic daily expenses over other purchases.