My road, my responsibility

Building a road through collective efforts has inculcated a sense of responsibility in villagers
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The link road has connected Naranji with other towns
February 2015, Naranji: In the remote village of Naranji, the lack of a link road has long been a major complaint. Overcoming that problem hasn’t only made life easier; it has brought communities and castes together.

The villagers of Naranji live from agriculture and ordinary government jobs. However, since 1947, there had been no access road to Naranji village from the main road and villagers had to walk for an hour or more to neighbouring Asman Banda to catch a bus. The inhabitants of Naranji approached many government departments and politicians time and again, but all these turned a deaf ear to Naranji’s very real problem.

Things changed in 2013. The road was identified as a priority need during a Village Development Plan exercise.

As a result, the SRSP surveyed the road in October 2013 and established that it would cost 4.9 million rupees to completion 7 causeways and a 1600 ft retaining wall. The SRSP head office agreed to fund it through the EU funded PEACE project.

Physical work was initiated in January 2014 and work was completed in October of the same year.

The villagers are delighted. “We used to leave the village before morning prayer when travelling to Dargai/Batkhela. And we used to have to stay in Dargai/Batkhela if we were late coming back. But now, since the construction of the road, every household has a motorcycle and we can go to Dargai/Batkhela whenever we want”, one youngster from the village said.

There are also now 4 public transport vehicles that run between Dargai/Batkhela and Naranji.

“We learnt many lessons while doing this road project. We can manage small contracts once we unite and make decisions collectively. We can do micro-infrastructure projects by ourselves and resolve social conflicts with the help of jirgas.

This road has actually brought together two castes – Mianagan and Stanadar” said one village elder.

The locals of the area have established an operation and maintenance committee to manage the routine maintenance work on their village road. People from all walks of life participate because they now understand their importance to the community.

“It is my road. This perspective is a big achievement of this small road project. People now have a sense of ownership of the road and they take care of it as if they were taking care of their homes and farms,” concluded one village elder.

Fact Box

Project:
Programme for Economic Advancement and Community Empowerment (PEACE)

Total cost of scheme:
4.9 million rupees

EU Contribution:
4.4 million rupees

Community share:
471,400 rupees

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Villagers now feel a sense of ownership towards the road
“We learnt many lessons while doing this road project. We can manage small contracts once we unite and make decisions collectively. We can do micro-infrastructure projects by ourselves and resolve social conflicts with the help of jirgas.”

Village elder, Naranji

Fact Box

Location: Naranji

Union Concil: Selai Patay

District Malakand

Number of households benefitted: 400




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