|Mrs. Ziagul Saljuki
The capital of Afghanistan, Kabul is not a dark city anymore. Despite all the challenges the economy, education, health and all aspects of life is booming with the electricity. Thousands of hectares of agricultural lands are enjoying from newly constructed dams and canals. The services provided by the Ministry of Energy and Water are known for every Afghan now. However, in all these progresses and development the contribution of a woman engineer worth telling her story. Working in key line positions have not been easy for women in Afghanistan, but there are some, talented and intelligent women who broke the discriminate patriarchal barriers and overcame to all challenges and found their ways to success. They showed and proved not only to the afghan society but to the world that if you want you can do; if you try you will succeed.
Mrs. Ziagul Saljuki a self-made and talented woman who is an engineer and started her career and worked in different positions at the Ministry of Water and Power until the Taliban took the power. After the fall of Taliban regime she was back to work, while the Capacity Development Secretariat (CDS) of Independent Administrative Reforms and Civil Service Commission (IARCSC) provided great opportunities to expert and qualified people like Saljuki through programs such as Lateral Entry Program (LEP), Management Capacity Program (MCP) and many other great programs. She joined the LEP as a Project Design Director at the Ministry of Energy and Water and today she works as Director of Planning and Coordination at the mentioned Ministry as an MCP appointee.
Despite numerous challenges such as security obstacles, investments, weak contractors, professional and expert employees, long and complicated procurement procedures and inadequate equipment, she has been relatively a successful figure with tangible and major achievements at the said ministry. Which are as follows:-
• Developing the Water Law
• Developing the Water Policy which is of very high importance for the country
• Licensing system for construction of small dams which regulates dam construction in the country
• Drafting Border Water Policy which will help maximize the use of water • Establishing and consolidate relations between Ministry and foreign missions, donors, institutions and NGOs.
• Developing projects for both energy and water sectors
• Marketing and discussing projects and proposals with donor's community and Ministry of finance.
• Implementation and follow-up of over 93 projects.
In addition to these major achievements, she has managed to outsource about 132 dam constriction projects to different companies this year.
These would have not been possible without the staunch support and contribution of MCP appointee Mrs. Ziagul Saljuki. She has fully contributed to each projects, she undertook the survey processes developed the projects, prepared proposals, finalized the financial procedures and monitored the implementation of each project step by step until their completion in both water and energy sectors so far. To undertake the survey, and monitoring the implementation of each project, she has traveled to all related provinces. To enhance the capacity of the project employees she conducted many workshops and provided the employees with training and workshops abroad.
Today as an outcome of these projects, People at different locations of the country such as: Kabul, Pol-e- Khomri, Jabalusaraj, Charikar, Gulbahar, Kunduz, Balkh, Baghlan and Herats' enjoy from the benefits of electricity for the first time after many years of war and conflict. Many projects are ongoing to provide electricity to all provinces throughout Afghanistan. After years of drought regulating of small dam construction in the country has provided the opportunity to many farmers to increase their products. The rehabilitation of irrigation systems under these projects, benefits over 600,000 households in all 34 provinces of the country. The improved availability of irrigation water has helped boost yields of staple crops such as wheat, maize, and rice, as well as of onions, melons, and watermelons . Meanwhile beside construction of dams other projects in water sector have enabled the Ministry of Energy and Water to provide the people with clean drinking water in many provinces.
Moreover, she is working and monitoring the implementation of more than 93 projects this year and the years to come. Each of these projects will benefit the majority of Afghan people, in many different villages, districts and cities in both energy and water sector all over Afghanistan. In all these efforts she is not alone. She’s one of more than 72 current line managers, all appointed to ministries through the Management Capacity Program (MCP), one of the many great programs provided by Capacity Development Secretariat of Independent Administrative Reforms and Civil Service Commission to develop and support the Public Administration Reform (PAR) process and improve the common function areas in all ministries / agencies within the Afghan government. The MCP is quietly succeeding in bringing ‘home’ professionals from Pakistan, Iran, Europe, America and Australia. And recruit them in key line positions based on their qualification, experience, skills and abilities.
The idea is that professionals, with skills, values and standards, given authority to act and implement policy, can effect change/reform when placed in senior positions and given line manager authority to act. Mrs. Saljuki and many others like her are proofs that the Management Capacity Program works and it works perfectly.
Mrs. Saljuki believes that women are facing double problems and challenges in work environment anywhere in the world and specially in Afghanistan, but she encourages the women to fight the challenges, expand their knowledge and experiences and do not give up easily. She encourages experts and educated afghan women from abroad to come and participate in the country's rebuilding efforts through efficient programs such as MCP. MCP and other programs of Capacity Development Secretariat has provided best opportunities to qualified and expert Afghans and paved the way to develop their personal and professional knowledge and abilities along the chances and opportunities to serve their people and their country.