Thursday, January 21, 2010

U.S.-funded power plant too costly for Afghans

Not only too costly a project, but once and if it is finished, the Afghan people can not afford to run it. In spite of the deep recession we are spending this kind of money to an illfated project of this magnitude. Aren't we in need of a new power plant or two in our own country? Who thinks up this stuff? I know OUR electrical grid is in dyer need of upgrading! Yes, we want to help everyone, but we have to make better decisions then the ones we are making or at least be accountable for the ones we are making.

Last week, the special inspector general's office found that while the U.S. has spent more than $732 million to improve Afghanistan's electrical grid since 2002, delays and rising costs have plagued many of the two companies' projects, in part because of a lack of scrutiny by the American government.

In November, another watchdog, the USAID's inspector general, found similar problems with the Kabul project and a plant in Helmand province, in southern Afghanistan.

The two projects are part of a five-year, $1.4 billion contract to build many of the roads and energy projects that now are under way in Afghanistan. The USAID awarded it jointly to Louis Berger and Black & Veatch in 2006.

The series of audits confirms McClatchy Newspapers' earlier reporting that delays and cost overruns had plagued projects built by Louis Berger and Black & Veatch.

The special inspector general's report Wednesday says that a number of factors drove the USAID's decision to build the Kabul plant, including U.S. bureaucrats' worry that a lack of power in Afghanistan's capital ``could affect national election results'' in the country.

1 comment:

  1. We don't have the correct priorities. Kill off the Taliban first. Then, if possible (and that's doubtful), work on the infrastructure.

    The real question on the infrastructure is whether the Afghanis can maintain them after they're built.


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