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WORLD NEWS 15
Army June 9, 2011
By Sgt Andrew Hetherington
AUSTRALIAN engineers deployed
to Tarin Kot working with the
Provincial Reconstruction Team
(PRT) are mentoring the construction
of local civilian building projects.
When the projects are completed
they will improve the way of life for
the people of Uruzgan province.
PRT project engineer Capt Andrew
Oxlade and his team visit a range of
building projects weekly to inspect the
work of civilian contractors.
One such building project is the
new Tarin Kot girls' school, being
built to replace the only girls' school
in the town, which was in a bad state
When finished, the $2 million dou-
ble-storey building will be a safe place
to provide much-needed education for
600 female primary and high school
Its main features will include 23
class rooms, an indoor gym, a library
and science laboratories.
"We go to the school site to inspect
the civilian contractor's quality of
work and progress according to the
work schedule and see if they have any
issues," Capt Oxlade said.
"It's a partnership that allows us to
pass on construction knowledge, tech-
niques and standards to them."
The team does face challenges dur-
ing their mentoring work.
"The local construction companies
are not required to meet the same con-
struction standards as we must meet in
Australia," Capt Oxlade said.
"But we include the Australian
building code and Australian standards
for design as much as we can in every
project, ensuring the product we and the
contractor deliver is of a high standard."
Civilian contract engineering man-
ager Muntaz Omerzai has been working
on the school since July last year.
"We are really happy with the qual-
ity of work of the Australians and
of them monitoring our work," Mr
"This school will help a lot of local
people and the local government is
happy with this project."
Painter Mohammad Noor, who
was working at the site during the
PRT's recent visit, said his daughter
would attend classes when the school
"My daughter, Hasina, is five and
she has never gone to school," he said.
"She will go to this school and get
knowledge and education here.
"I hope the education will change
her life and hopefully she will be a
Mr Noor said he was grateful for the
help Australia had given his country.
The Tarin Kot girl's school is
expected to reach completion as this
edition of Army goes to print.
PRT's crucial role
THE PRT engineering works team con-
sists of seven personnel and focuses on
construction and reconstruction efforts in
support of Afghan development projects.
The team is responsible for managing
building projects, including the organisa-
tion of the tender process, procurement
of the contract and often the design of
When construction begins, the team
visits sites and mentors the civilian con-
tractors until the contract is completed.
At any one time the team is manag-
ing up to seven projects in various stag-
es of tender, design and construction.
Future PRT projects will include a
number of bridges to be constructed in
Almost finished: PRT's Capt Andrew Oxlade discusses the progress of the new Tarin Kot girl's school with
civilian project engineer Muntaz Omerzai while painter Mohammad Noor (inset) prepares a wall in one of
the new school's classrooms.
Photos by Sgt Andrew Hetherington
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