In its 3,000 year history, Kabul has hosted Moghul emperors, British imperialists and Soviet invaders. But the once sleepy Afghan capital is today literally 'exploding' as its population has increased from less than one million to more than five million.
The city is a riot of chaos and color, extreme wealth side by side with extreme poverty, rich businessmen with penniless refugees. Some essential services such as electricity have been restored, but others are overwhelmed.
JICA experts are involved in a $7 million project to produce a master plan for a 'greater Kabul.' When it is completed, perhaps by 2030, metropolitan Kabul will expand into surrounding countryside, doubling in size and confirming its place as the country's modern political, social and economic hub.
Photos courtesy of S. Sabawoon / JICA, Raymond Wilkinson / JICA