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Bagh-e Pol park owner receives $10,000 microgrant to refurbish bustling park

January 18, 2012

ZHARAY DISTRICT, KANDAHAR PROVINCE, Afghanistan – The owner of a park in the Bagh-e Pol area of eastern Zharay district, received the second half of a $10,000 microgrant, Jan. 11, from coalition forces who said the park greatly benefits the local community.    

An Afghan businessman is awarded US$10,000 by Brigadier General Jeffrey A Sinclair

An Afghan businessman is awarded US$10,000 by Brigadier General Jeffrey A Sinclair, 82nd Airborne Division and Regional Command ( South) Deputy Commanding General of Support, 13 December 2011, to make improvements to his park in Bagh-e Pol. Photo by Sergeant Larry Hayes

“This facility will be a source of pride for the community, and will help bring back a sense of normalcy to the Bagh-e Pol area,” said Lieutenant Colonel Greg Anderson, the commander of Combined Task Force Spartan’s 2nd Battalion, 87th Infantry Regiment. The 2-87 Infantry Battalion is responsible for operations in the eastern Zharay district.

The park, which lies just east of the Bagh-e Pol bridge, overlooks the Arghandab River, and has a small zoo, a swimming pool and water slide, and a large glass-walled conference center. The park’s owner said he would use the microgrant to improve and renovate the facility with painting, electrical work, window repair, and landscaping.

During the summer months, the park’s swimming pool is consistently packed with Afghan schoolchildren who swim and enjoy the water slide to cool themselves off. The zoo has a pair of peacocks, a trio of monkeys, and some other species of animals. The conference center, with its glass-enclosed atrium, is a location often used for Afghan meetings, shuras, and feasts, says the owner.

Microgrants are provided by coalition forces to help businesses grow their industry, employ more workers, and pay for renovations to facilities. Previously, leaders from the Zharay district government and CTF Spartan have presented checks to an ice factory, a cellular phone shop in the Pasab bazaar, and many others throughout the district.

Lt Col Anderson said once the building’s renovations are complete, the park will attract increased patronage from the local and even regional areas.

“Once this work is complete, there will be increased Afghan usage of this facility. The owner will be able to employ up to eight additional workers in the Bagh-e Pol area,” said Lt Col Anderson.

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