Construction in Kart-e Sakhi

Karte Sakhi is adjacent to Kabul University. As with Deh Mazang, and most of Kabul, it is a vast (re)construction site. The houses look neoclassical–not in the European sense, but as if ancient Mediterraneans were building their houses with materials available today. I like the new warm color palette, compared to the popular 1970s Kabul-green. I’m not sure about the reflective surfacing, but maybe I am too old-school. This is the latest.

And the quality of construction is often very good. I saw this house several days ago and noticed the bituminous layer they were putting in before finishing the foundation walls.

The crew asked me to take pictures of them, I could not say no.

This gentleman asked a coworker to hand him one of the trowels, so he could be shown with the tools of his trade.

In 2006 I see a new trend: light steel beams replacing heavy wood beams for primary spans. For Afghanistan this is good news: the whole area east of Kabul was being deforested for reconstruction back in 2003. If nothing else, at least locals can now use that wood as heating fuel in cold winters, although that issue also needs to be addressed. As does tie-in reinforcing for this structure. Step by step…

Down the same street are two houses, one older and one rebuilt, which have toilet-rooms backed up to the street. Note the removable panels with IAM stamped on them, where farmers used to shovel out the humanure. With urban expansion, farmers do not come around so frequently, so sewage overflows into the street drain. This is a problem which individual families cannot solve, nor even whole neighborhoods.

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