Lack of access to information compromises the quality of construction projects in Parwan

Wahidullah Azizi, Integrity Watch Afghanistan | @WahidSays

Not publishing information on infrastructure projects, the lack of cooperation with local monitors, awarding contracts to local influencers and to those with vested interests compromises the quality of construction projects. Local monitors who represent their communities often face improper treatment and sometimes even receive threats as a result of raising objections to any misconduct.

Abdul Hanan Rahnaward, Provincial Coordinator for Parwan emphasized the importance of timely disclosure of information on public infrastructure projects in Parwan. This can prevent abuses including low-quality work. “Of the projects covered by local monitors supported by Integrity Watch, an improvement of up to 70% has been seen,” said Mr. Rahnaward. There is however a long way to go. It has often been a pattern that inspectors who are supposed to properly inspect & ensure the quality of construction projects are instead involved in corruption.

There is a need to do more in order to make information about infrastructure projects public. Lack of awareness and involvement by local communities is one the main reasons why there is such poor-quality infrastructural work in the Province. With more community engagement and project, ownership quality can be improved. Also, the Government should involve civil society in all implementation stages of the construction process.

Local monitors facilitated by Integrity Watch Afghanistan are changing the situation for the better. Currently, there are 10 volunteers in the Province who monitor public projects including a road, a kindergarten school, a health facility, a Directorate of Drugs Control building and a residential township for teachers.

The story has been prepared based on interviews with Abdul Hanan Rahnaward, Integrity Watch’s Provincial Coordinator for Parwan.