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Jan 10, 2008
Afghanistan: ISAF assistance enables Arghandab river causeway
KABUL, Afghanistan – A causeway across the Arghandab River, built with ISAF support, was opened recently.
ISAF engineers oversaw the construction of the causeway, built to enable a crossing that will ensure year-round access that will provide social and economical benefits to the people in the Arghandab area and beyond.
The Arghandab River runs along the border between the Zharey and the Panjwayi Districts in Kandahar Province where the Afghan National Army and ISAF forces conduct security and development operations.
While the river can usually be forded, this becomes impossible when water levels rise, particularly after heavy rainfall or in the spring when melted snow causes the river to swell. Although the water levels tend not to be very deep in the vicinity of the causeway, the Arghandab River separates into three channels and the water flow can extend to 500 meters in width when the water rises. For these reasons, it was decided that a causeway was essential for the people of this region.
"A series of concrete culverts that stretch across each channel were used to build the causeway which, even during a major flood, allows water to simply overflow and enables the causeway to remain passable," explained Maj. Eric Fortin, the ISAF engineering officer responsible for overseeing the project.
Local leaders, including the Kandahar Provincial Governor as well as the District Governor of Zharey and Panjwayi, were intimately involved from the start in the planning phase of the causeway, explained Major Fortin.
"Local contractors were also involved with the project and civilians from the Zharey and Panjwayi Districts, under the supervision of a small crew of ISAF military engineers, were employed during the construction phase," said Major Fortin. "As well, throughout the construction of the causeway, soldiers from the 1st Brigade of the 205th Afghan National Army Corps were responsible for providing security to the site."
"The construction of the causeway over the Arghandab River was a major project undertaken jointly by the Afghans and the military engineers within ISAF and is an excellent example of Afghan and ISAF authorities working together to improve conditions in an area that greatly required it," said Wing Commander Antony McCord, Regional Command South spokesperson. "The causeway will provide a year round means of crossing the river that will be of considerable benefit and help change the lives of the people in the Arghandab area for the better."
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