30 Sep 2017
Writer: Ali Arash

Permanent premises would help

Delivery of services is compromised. More than 150 districts do not have administrative buildings. An investigation District governors and officials are working out of rented premises or makeshift offices in containers in 152 of 379 districts in the country.

This information is provided by the Ministry of Urban Development and Housing. Provinces like Badakhshan, Paktika, Takhar, Helmand, Ghazni and Paktia are on the list. Nangarhar is the only province that has administrative buildings in all districts.

Local authorities say they are not able to deliver services to people because of the lack of office space. Services include the issuing of identity cards.

However, the urban development ministry does not agree that the lack of buildings is an obstacle for district officials. In fact, officials maintain that over the past two years, work on many administrative buildings has been undertaken, and building continues in some districts. What is the reality? A close scrutiny of some provinces.

Nineteen out of 28 districts still do not have administrative buildings in Badakhshan province. The districts of Jerm, Shar Buzurg, Wakhan, Zebak, Baharak, Eshkashem, Khwahane are among these. Ahmad Faisal Begzad, provincial governor, claims construction in four districts was recently approved following the efforts of local authorities.
He claims offices in other districts are still in rented places. In fact, offices are scattered, he says. For instance, the governor's office is in one location, while the court and office of the Attorney General are in separate buildings.

Fifteen of 19 districts do not have administrative buildings. The districts of Sarawza, Barmal, Gomal, Trwoo, Jani Khil, Deela are among these. Nematullah, a provincial council member, says the three districts of Omna, Neka and Gian are "displaced". Offices have been shifted out because of security problems.
As many as 11 districts in the province have no administrative building. Some of these districts are Baharak, Bangi, Eshkemesh, Khuja Bahaudin and Khuja Ghare. There are a total of 20 districts in Takhar. Killid tried to interview provincial officials but no one responded.
There are 14 districts in Helmand province but only five have administrative buildings. Those that do not include Kajaki, Dishoo, Bughran, Musa Kala, Washer and Marjae. The province is one of the most insecure in Afghanistan with armed anti-government forces in many of the districts. As a result, according to local officials, offices of some of the worst affected districts have moved to the centre or to neighbouring districts.
Omar Zwak, spokesperson for the provincial governor, told Killid the district administration in Khanshin, Nawa, and Musa Qala has been moved to the centre.
The province is divided into 18 districts – only nine have administrative buildings; the rest work out of rented premises. The districts of Gilan, Abband, Wali Mohammad Shahid, Khujaomri, Giroo, Zanakhan, renting houses.
Mohmmad Aref Noori, spokesperson for the Ghazni governor, says buildings in most of these districts were destroyed in the war. The staff have moved to the centre of Ghazni. He admitted there was no plan at present to relocate the offices.
According to Noori, the district staff work from rented houses or containers.
Only two of the 10 district offices are in permanent buildings. The rest, including Arghandab, Nawbahar, Daichopan, Shinkai, Shamalzai, Mizan and Atghar, are in containers.
Gulislam Siyal, spokesperson of Zabul governor told Killid, the staff have no space. The situation has been reported repeatedly to provincial authorities and the Ministry of Urban Development and Housing but apart from promises to build offices in five of the districts in the "coming years" nothing more concrete has emerged.



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