I think I’m fit to be a Convoy Leader because every job needs someone to take control and be responsible. That’s the type of person I am.
Every morning I come into the office, and I plan the route the convoy should take to deliver the goods. When the convoy is going to distant regions I use a Land Cruiser. For example, I went to Baghlan province and we were crossing the Taliban custom border. My responsibility was to go and show them the letter from the food aid organisation and get authorization to cross the border.
Besides dealing with the Taliban, the job has challenging moments. There was an accident in Daykundi province, the truck fell down a valley. I unloaded food from the truck with help of people nearby and took the driver to the nearest clinic. The driver was severely injured so it was not possible to treat him there. I contacted both the food aid organisation and CTG office to report the situation. I was asked to provide GPS coordinates so a helicopter could pick him up and take him to hospital. As I am illiterate, I didn’t know how to get the coordinates. So I suggested to burn bushes and asked them to follow the smoke signals. They accepted my suggestion and they found us easily. I was praised for my work later both by the food aid organisation and CTG. CTG even gave me a 100 USD as a bonus. The driver recovered and is still working with CTG.
I think I’m fit to be a Convoy Leader because every job needs someone to take control and be responsible. That’s the type of person I am. I do this job to serve the people of my country and do something for my family. It’s also important to be familiar with the areas, and know the names of the district and how many schools there are in each district.
The roads in Afghanistan can be dangerous, but I have travelled on these roads a lot. I know every place now. I ask the people in the area whether there are mines or any kind of danger on the roads. Taliban are ruling on these roads, but the roads are also dangerous because some of them are not paved – sometimes the road doesn’t even exist. We just travel in the valley without a proper path for vehicles.
When there are no mines, Taliban, or insurgents, we don’t need GPS on these roads but unfortunately it is not that way. Road safety is very important that’s why we communicate with the police to make sure the route is clear. It’s important to travel with a convoy, not alone. I speak to the authorities and I don’t let any drivers park wherever they want. We travel together after security clearance.
If the trucks break down, we fix it ourselves because we don’t have a mechanic with us. As convoy leader, I have to fix the truck on the highways because it’s not safe to leave the truck there. It’s so worth it to see the people’s faces when we deliver the food. It makes me really happy.
*name has been changed to protect individual’s privacy