- Feb 8, 2007
- Land of Swine and Maple Syrup
This is an excellent redevolepment project, money well spent. :2c:
Canadian military, CIDA consider restoration of Afghanistan buildings
Last Updated: Sunday, May 11, 2008 | 11:45 PM ET Comments66Recommend50
These crumbling former barracks, once used by the Russians, are adjacent to Kandahar Airfield and are currently being used as apartments by Afghan families. (Susan Lunn/CBC)Canadian soldiers and engineers on Sunday toured a bomb-damaged complex of six barracks once used by the Russians in southern Afghanistan to determine whether it's worth repairing the buildings.
Bombed by the Americans in 2001, the buildings are adjacent to Kandahar Airfield, where the majority of Canadian troops in Afghanistan are stationed.
Officers of the Afghan National Army and their families currently live in the barracks, which were U.S.-built in the 1960s and used by the occupying Russian military in the 1980s, but engineers say part of the complex is not safe.
The brick walls are crumbling, sections of the roofs are missing and some windows are gone. Running water and electricity are only available for a few hours a day.
The roofs of some of the buildings were destroyed by U.S. bombs in 2001. (Susan Lunn/CBC)However, Canadian engineers say there's no need to tear down the complex; about 60 per cent of the former barracks can be salvaged.
"At first glance, there's at least 40 to 50 per cent of the buildings that are pretty well damaged that will need major reconstruction," Warrant Officer Steve Beaudet of the Engineer Support Team told CBC News outside the barracks.
Before heading inside for a closer inspection, Beaudet waited as a few women in burkas left so they wouldn't be at home while men toured their apartments.
Once the engineers decide what work needs to be done and which parts of the buildings can't be salvaged, Beaudet said the plan is to hire locals to do the repairs.
"We would supervise them as they go through. We would put them through the paces of what we expect from them," he said.
It's not clear how much the work will cost. An official with the Canadian International Development Agency toured the buildings, but didn't want to talk to the media.
With files from Susan Lunn