Since 2002, the United States, has spent approximately $2.8 billion building and maintaining Afghanistan’s road infrastructure, while working to implement more than $150 million in other road-related programs to improve the Afghan Ministry of Public Works’(MOPW) management of road construction and maintenance. Sigar (Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction) has just completed an audit of these efforts. The results are not good.
First, Sigar could not get enough information on one program (costing $366,000,000) to audit the program.
The audit also found that some projects had the same identifying numbers. And in some projects they could not find out how much was spent on road-related activities. In August 2015, an MOPW official stated that 20 percent of the roads were destroyed and the remaining 80 percent continue to deteriorate. The official added that the Kabul to Kandahar highway is beyond repair and needs to be rebuilt. 54 percent of Afghanistan’s road infrastructure suffered from poor maintenance and required rehabilitation.
USAID did have a plan for the road maintenance operations, but was unsuccessful in establishing a sustainable road maintenance plan and program because: (1) performing capacity-building programs alongside the road maintenance programs caused a disincentive for the MOPW to improve its capacity, and (2) the MOPW was unwilling to reorganize itself in an effective manner to create a sustainable road maintenance program.