Hundreds of houses in Kabul are receiving a fresh coat of paint as part of a beautification drive to brighten up the war-torn Afghan capital.
Three weeks ago, Kabul authorities launched a project to paint around 2,000 hilltop houses.
"The aim of the project is to beautify Kabul city and offer some mental relaxation to its citizens," Jalil Sultani, spokesperson for the Kabul Municipality, who came up with the plan in cooperation with the Capital Region Independent Development Authority, told Efe news on Thursday.
Hundreds of mud houses stretching over the Koh-e-Asmayee, a mountain located in the heart of the city, a few metres from the Presidential Palace, are a living proof of the massive internal migration that has occurred as a result of the ongoing conflict, according to Sultani.
These houses, lights from which in the evenings create an illusion of skyscrapers, lack drainage or sewer systems and during monsoon months garbage and debris from these houses flow out onto the streets.
The new coats of paint will transform the gray mud and stone houses into a spectacular sight, with splashes of orange, yellow, red and white, Sultani said.
"Most people like blue and yellow," Abdul Razaq, a painter, told Efe. "Nobody likes red."
Red is a much-hated colour in Kabul, as it is reminiscent of the constant bloodshed in a city that has been living under the shadow of terror throughout the past decade.
Between 2016-17, more than 500 deaths have been recorded, including the 150 who died on Wednesday in a car bomb blast.
Once the current beautification project is completed, Sultani said it will be extended to other areas of Kabul.
The beautification plan is part of a bigger project that was approved by President Ashraf Ghani to develop Kabul, and includes several other programmes like advancing communications infrastructure, creating parks and basic services for the population.
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