Construction of a School Unit in Flood Affected Area of Pakistan
F. Hoffmann-La Roche, Ltd together with Roche Pakistan Limited joins hands once again with The Citizens Foundation to build a single-unit TCF primary school as their Flood Rehabilitation Project in Pakistan.
Rural areas of Pakistan are already deprived of a sound education infrastructure, the situation has been exacerbated by the recent floods which have destroyed or severely damaged several public, private, government and non-profit schools that were struggling to fulfill the education needs.
As per UNESCO records, the floods have affected more than 10,000 schools in Pakistan out of which 18% have been reported as partially and 82% reported as fully damaged. Approximately 1.5-2.5 million children are out of school and have missed the start of the academic session.
Roche in agreement with TCF will support the construction and three year operational support of a new Primary School in a flood affected area of Pakistan. This school will educate 180 children of the area, as well as provide jobs to the local community. The school will be operational in April 2012.
The proposed site in the flood affected area of Jacobabad, in Interior Sindh has been selected. The reason for choosing this site being that prior to the floods 76% of Jacobabad’s population live in rural areas and depend mainly on agriculture. 19% of the rural population has access to primary education, out of which the female representation is at a very dismal 4%. The need of quality educational institutes is an all time requirement of this area.
Each TCF school is a beautifully planned purpose-built structure with attractive courtyards, verandas and a playground. Each has six classrooms, a library, an art room and washrooms with running water. Most classes are taught in Urdu, while math is conducted in English. English language classes are introduced from Kindergarten. The quality of teaching is exceptionally high, partly due to the fact that TCF has its own teacher-training institute where the staff receives a thorough grounding in education. As a result, TCF graduates are winning scholarships to some of the country’s leading colleges. It is also important to note that the TCF staff is all women. This encourages the parents to send their daughters to school, thereby ensuring a 50:50 ratio of female to male pupils.
Such project collaboration reiterates Roche’s commitment towards corporate social responsibility.
Flood Relief Donation
In July 2010 Pakistan experienced the worst flood in its history , resulting from heavy monsoon rains and affected entire Indus River basin in all provinces viz. Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Sindh, Punjab and Balochistan. Approximately one-fifth of Pakistan's total land area was underwater encompassing 796,095 square kilometres (307,374 sq mi). According to Pakistani government data the flood directly affected about 20 million people, mostly by destruction of property, livelihood and infrastructure, with a death toll of close to 2,000.
The extensive damage to infrastructure and crops caused by the flood affected Pakistan economy very badly and it was difficult to repair without outside alms.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon had initially asked for $460 million for emergency relief, noting that the flood was the worst disaster he had ever seen. The U.N. had been concerned that aid was not arriving fast enough, and the World Health Organization reported that ten million people were forced to drink unsafe water. The Damage to structures was estimated to exceed 4 billion USD, and wheat crop damages were estimated to be over 500 million USD. Total economic impact may have been as much as 43 billion USD.
People were languishing in the floods that covered nearly one fifth of the country. The destruction of nearly 17 million acres of the most fertile land in Pakistan, had also led to short and long term food shortages. It was clear that the people of Pakistan needed immediate help, "Roche" in line with its Corporate Responsibility once again rose at this hour of need to help the affected. There were two contributions from Roche. One from the corporate and the other from Roche Pakistan Limited employees. Roche Pakistan donated amounts to three NGOs, actively involved in relief activities, namely Pakistan Medical Association, The Citizen Foundation & Red Crescent Society. The amount donated by Roche employees was spent especially on procurement of food items/rations for the flood affected population in parts of Sind & Balochistan.