Afghanistan Power Sector Still Flawed, AP Report Finds

    The U.S.-led reconstruction effort in Afghanistan is likely to do more harm than good, given its current turnout, an investigative report by the Associated Press notes.

    The report highlights several persisting problems plaguing the country that the reconstruction effort seeks to address. Poppy fields continue to thrive, passable roads are still scarce, and electricity is delivered only to a small percentage of Afghanistan’s 29 million people, the AP report says. The persisting electricity problem is among the major failures of the reconstruction effort, it adds.

    It provides as example a USD305 million diesel power plant that the U.S. financed and which a U.S. energy consultant described as “sinful.”

    The U.S. ignored advice from various quarters to abandon the project and hired two contractors, including one that has been previously reprimanded for wasting taxpayer dollars on sloppy reconstruction projects, the AP report explains.

    The diesel plant is of no big use to Afghanistan today.

    “This power plant is too expensive for us to use,” Shojauddin Ziaie, Afghanistan’s current deputy minister of water and energy, said according to AP. “We will only use it in special cases when the main power supply gets cut off or if we face problems with that supply.”

    About the author

    • Ivy Mungcal

      As former senior staff writer, Ivy Mungcal contributed to several Devex publications. Her focus is on breaking news, and in particular on global aid reform and trends in the United States, Europe, the Caribbean, and the Americas. Before joining Devex in 2009, Ivy produced specialized content for U.S. and U.K.-based business websites.