Afghanistan: Reconstruction in Zabul province; Casualty update

Kabul, Afghanistan (Dec. 01) - The ISAF Zabul Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT), mid-way through its nine-month tour, has completed nearly 40 projects this year. Operational for several years, the Zabul PRT assists the Afghan government with improving stability through governance, reconstruction and development.

The Zabul PRT is a diverse organization with joint, interagency and international components.

"The PRT It is one of the principal counter-insurgency units in the region and part of the larger ISAF effort to bring stability to Zabul province," said U.S. Army Lt. Col. Andy Veres, PRT commander. "The effort (stability) has resulted in approximately $140 million (U.S.) in developments in Zabul since we started the provincial reconstruction team here."

Projects completed by the PRT include the first electrical grid in Qalat, paved roads, bridges over the Tarnak and Arghandab Rivers, several modern schools with computer labs, sanitation services, government buildings and community centers at the district level to help revitalize the traditional shura system of governance in Afghanistan.

The PRT has spent nearly $3 million (U.S.) on computers for education programs and safe drinking water and nutrition projects. The combined civilian-military team is also providing the mentorship which trains and enables government officials to serve their people more effectively, to include health care programs.

"The boys and girls of the next generation of Afghanistan need help on their way to a brighter future," Colonel Veres said. "Our team is here to reassure them that they will not have to confront the challenges of education on their own."

ISAF Casualty

An ISAF service member from the United Kingdom died following an EID explosion in southern Afghanistan yesterday.