Cablegate: Afghan Clean Energy and Water Supply Programs: Meeting

DE RUEHBUL #3743 3260850
R 220850Z NOV 09




E.O. 12958 N/A
SUBJECT: Afghan Clean Energy and Water Supply Programs: Meeting
Community Needs and Achieving COIN Effects

REF: Kabul 2670

1. Summary: This message summarizes two new USAID programs
addressing critical energy and water needs that will rely on
Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) officers to identify and
prioritize specific projects in the field. These two programs are
flexible, responding to on-the-ground, demand-driven assessments
that reflect community needs and are tied directly to
counter-insurgency effects. At the Embassy, our national-level
working groups are coordinating this assistance to avoid duplication
of effort while leveraging PRT knowledge with USAID, State, and
military budgets. In addition, we are tracking the regional
distribution of these projects to identify and address the needs of
any underserved populations, thereby avoiding the creation of
developmental "blind spots" that could constitute recruitment areas
for insurgent groups. End Summary.

Clean Energy and Sustainable Water Supply
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

2. USAID's new Afghan Clean Energy Program (ACEP, USD 83 million
over four years) and Sustainable Water Supply and Sanitation project
(SWSS, USD 52 million over three years) will support efforts by
Provincial Reconstruction Teams(PRTs) and other key stakeholders
throughout Afghanistan to help the needs of Afghan communities.
ACEP and SWSS will design, install and operate renewable energy
sources (solar, wind, and micro-hydro), sustainable potable water
systems, sanitation facilities and hygiene education. Activities
will focus primarily on rural areas, and local communities working
with PRT staff will propose projects.

Technical Assistance Team Provides Engineering Expertise
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

3. Based on the initial SWSS and ACEP site selection criteria, PRTs
will propose projects to their respective Regional Commands (RC).
Nominations are to be submitted quarterly; over a dozen renewable
energy activities have already been submitted and nearly 50 water
and sanitation activities. RC/East has been particularly active.
Among these are solar power for a rural clinic, cold storage
facilities run by micro-hydro power to support agricultural sales,
wind turbines for domestic lighting and small industry development,
many water supply and latrine construction projects. PRT officers
have reported that CERP (Commander's Emergency Response Program)
funds and community labor are available to support these projects.

4. Project coordinators will favor projects that leverage funds
from other sources. A USAID technical assistance team will visit
approved sites to gather additional information and develop an
annual work plan. Each project site will have an agreement
describing roles and responsibilities of USAID, the PRT, local
community and other stakeholders. Local communities must operate
and maintain the systems, and sustainability will require good
commercial practices (i.e., communities must collect fees to pay
ongoing expenses).

Infrastructure Working Group
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

5. The Mission's multi-agency Infrastructure Working Group (IWG)
coordinates input from PRTs, local communities and other key
stakeholders in the design and implementation of infrastructural
project activities. The IWG will also ensure its activites mesh
with other Mission strategic objectives, including anti-corruption
efforts. A core group of the Kabul IWG met recently with RC-South
civilian and military representatives in Kandahar and with RC-East
representatives in Bagram. Inclusive IWG participation will allow
for better leverage of USAID, State and military budgets while
avoiding duplication of effort.


6. As PRT officers arrive in the field on an almost daily basis,
these programs make the most of officers' local knowledge and
influence. These two programs are the first of a new generation of
programs that respond to on-the-ground, demand-driven assessments
that reflect community needs and are tied directly to
counter-insurgency effects. We will be working intensively with
PRTs to track the distribution of projects launched under these
programs to ensure they do not create underserved population groups
that could constitute recruitment areas for insurgent groups.


© Scoop Media

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