In recent weeks several groups of residents and shopkeepers have expressed their appreciation for the removal of solid waste and debris from the streets, ditches, and canals of downtown Kandahar City. With continuous and reliable trash removal service over the past two months, residents are beginning to rely on the services provided by this project funded by USAID’s Regional Afghan Municipalities Program for Urban Populations (RAMPUP) and implemented by FAF Developments.
“We have 40 houses with two big dumpsters that were cleaned by your project. All of our elders are very happy about this, and we are very happy with the laborers. Your work is much appre-ciated,” says a simple letter marked with signatures and finger-prints of seven community elders, as is the common method in Kandahar. In another letter, Sher Mohammad and Haji Mo-hammad Islam say, “We are so happy with your work, please continue providing this service so that the garbage does not collect in the streets.” Other shopkeepers have described an increase in business since the historic mountains of trash have been removed; mounds were blocking the streets, parking, and pedestrian walkways.
These services are part of a small but effective project aimed at removing solid historical waste from Kandahar City. The project provides a visible example of the municipal government providing services to its residents. The project is coordinated with the City’s Municipal Waste Department and over time, the planning and administration of the project will be handed over to the municipal government, with appropriate mentoring and oversight to ensure its continued success, after RAMP UP comes to an end.
The Regional Afghan Municipalities Program for Urban Popula-tions (RAMPUP) assists governments in urban centers to in-crease the capacity of municipal officials, improve the delivery of municipal services, support economic growth initiatives, and increase own-source revenues. RAMPUP funds service deliv-ery improvements and small-scale infrastructure projects such as road paving, parks, and solid waste management.