BALAKOT: Pakistan Red Crescent Society (PRCS) on Wednesday handed over newly constructed girls schools to NWFP Minister for Elementary and Secondary Education Sardar Hussain Babak at a ceremony organised here at Girls Middle School Shohal Najaf Khan.
PRCS Chairman Saeed Ahmed Qureshi said on the occasion that the schools had been reconstructed and provided with furniture and necessary laboratory items.
“All the buildings are earthquake-resistant and have been built in accordance with the latest building codes. The new school buildings truly reflect the Earthquake Reconstruction and Rehabilitation Authority (ERRA) motto ‘Build Back Better’,” said Qureshi.
He said the PRCS, as a part of government’s plan of reconstruction and rehabilitation, was undertaking construction of 32 schools and hospitals in quake-affected areas of Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) and NWFP. All these well-equipped and furnished facilities were being handed over to the departments concerned. Of these, 14 projects worth Rs 450 million were constructed in NWFP.
He said the PRCS was committed to enhance disaster response capacities in the area by opening new district branches and disaster management cells. For this purpose, district branches have been established in Swat, Mansehra, Battagram, Kohistan and Shangla, he added.
He said plan has also been made to enlarge volunteer base by recruiting new volunteers from the vulnerable communities and conduct their trainings in disaster management and first aid. The branches have been advised to double the number of volunteers in next three years and the target for NWFP till 2009 is 25,000.
Speaking on the occasion, NWFP education minister thanked the PRCS for its generous support in rebuilding schools and hospitals that were completely damaged during the October 2005 earthquake.
Students were given cash prizes for their brilliant performance at an art and essay competition held to highlight the effects of disasters and measures to control them.
NWFP senior government officials, notables of the area and delegates from different national societies attended the ceremony.
Source: Daily Times