After bombings in Kabul these days, new concrete blast walls go up, taller than the ones before. Streets leading to V.I.P. homes are blocked to traffic. To drive in certain neighborhoods is to delve into a frustrating game of maze navigation, with surprise barricades popping up overnight.
In a grim reflection of life in the Afghan capital, the small blast-wall factories lined up on the city’s outskirts are among the few businesses that have managed to stay basically viable despite the reeling economy. Mixers churn out concrete, and laborers cast it in wooden molds. Trucks ferry the T-shaped walls to spots around the city, one of the most barricaded in the world.
“It is our sad reality: After a suicide bombing, we get more work,” said Noor ul Haq, who has been managing one such small business for six years.
After a huge truck bombing near an elite Afghan security agency last month, Mr. Haq had 15 potential customers visit in one week. The attack was so large that it shattered windows across wide stretches of the city and flung body parts into the Kabul River, which was raging after days of rain.