This is the Dand District Centre, located in Kandahar province. On March 30, 2009, a suicide bomber blew himself up inside its newly renovated walls. Nine people were killed.
The Centre was intended to provide a seat for the district government, bringing the government and residents of Dand closer together. The destruction created a major setback and residents were faced with a tough choice: should they give up or should they rebuild?
[Shot of celebration ceremony]
As you can see here, the Dand community chose to rebuild instead. With the support Canada’s Department of Foreign Affairs and the Department of National Defence, and the Government of Afghanistan, the Centre reopened its doors seven months after the explosion.
Overcoming this setback is not only a symbol of the community’s resilience and the fortitude of its people, it also shows the resolve of the Afghan government to bring services to its people.
Today, an increased security presence supports a dedicated district staff. Together with representatives of the provincial government, and with the support of Canada, they are set to deliver basic services to the Dand district community.
The Dand District Centre is more than just a building. It sits at the very heart of the community and is a place for residents to learn about projects in their village and to speak with the leaders who serve them. Here they can share their views on activities that affect the lives of their families.
The District Centre will house representatives from a number of Afghan government departments, including those who deal with the community’s most pressing needs: agriculture, irrigation, education, health, and reconstruction and development.
The re-opening of the Dand District Centre highlighted the success of the Afghan government in reaching out to rural areas beyond Kandahar City.
There are already many projects underway in areas such as education, health, agricultural development, and other essential services.
These improvements show some of the progress the Afghan government has made in delivering services to its citizens. It also shows that Canada is there to support them.
The repairs to the Dand District Centre were funded by Canada’s Department of Foreign Affairs Global Peace and Security Fund, and the Department of National Defence who were also engaged in its initial construction and rehabilitation.
The Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) supports projects to improve the livelihoods of people in the area surrounding the District Centre.
This contribution builds on existing CIDA development and reconstruction work in the Dand district to improve education through the Education Quality Improvement Program and infrastructure through the National Solidarity Programme and National Area Based Development program.