EU-BOMNAF TRAINS AFGHANISTAN MECHANICS IN TAJIKISTAN (07/06/2016)

Dushanbe, 07 June 2016 - UNDP Dushanbe’s EU-BOMNAF Project reports that we have today completed a training course in the maintenance and repair of Polaris quad bikes (All-terrain vehicles or ATV) for twelve of our Afghan Border Police (ABP) beneficiaries.

As part of the BOMNAF Projects’ objective to reinforce border management capacity on Afghanistan’s borders with Central Asia whilst encouraging legitimate cross-border exchange and trade, these all terrain vehicles have been donated by the EU to beneficiaries. Until now, general low capacity of trained people in Afghanistan and a need for mechanical knowledge among Afghanistan’s border agencies has made it somewhat challenging to maintain and repair the vehicles when they developed faults.

The Project’s training partners, Pete Southern and Dai Evans, authorized Polaris experts from UK, have delivered three separate training courses in basic maintenance techniques and this week they returned to Dushanbe to deliver one week’s training. The event was designed for the most promising students from earlier courses who, thanks to visa and consular support from Tajikistan’s national government, were invited back in order to learn how to carry out a range of more advanced repair techniques on damaged ATVs. Pete and Dai were very impressed by the enthusiasm students displayed throughout the course and maintained that all were equally enthusiastic and committed to learning more.

Beneficiaries to the course had the opportunity to diagnose and repair a range of problems in 11 broken, damaged and inoperable vehicles, which had been recovered from ABP bases, to the project’s warehouse in Dushanbe. As the photos show, they all played a very valuable part in making this essential equipment operationally effective again and all eleven ATVs will be back in service soon.

The highly practical training on this course has provided Afghan beneficiaries with exactly the kind of hands-on skills the ABP need. They already understood the benefits of preventative maintenance as a means to minimize mechanical problems, but they now know also how to fix those problems that might occur and so get the vehicles back on the road far more quickly than before.

At the closing ceremony all the students received course certificates, a CD containing essential safety and maintenance instructions, and a full, professional set of tools to help them in the future.

As well as making a point of thanking Tajikistan as the host country, UNDP’s EU-BOMNAF Project Manager, William Lawrence praised staff, students and instructors alike when he closed the course at a special ceremony, by informing them all they should be pleased and proud that their cooperative joint efforts had resulted in success for a group of Afghanistan Border Police officers, who are now able to go home and assist in the development of that country.

"Congratulations to you all”, said Lawrence, “the BOMNAF Project wishes you well and we look forward to seeing you at work on the border, maintaining the equipment supplied by the European Union for your country”.

For further details, please contact William LAWRENCE, BOMNAF Project Manager at william.lawrence@undp.org.