Pakistan: Relief Efforts in the Flood-Stricken Area Provision of Tents to 17 Schools as Temporary Classrooms for Children to Learn in a Safe Environment

Provision of tents so that children can safely lead their school lives in the new school term

Since July this year, Pakistan has suffered massive and extensive flooding, which has inflicted a great deal of damage affecting 1.6 million victims nationwide. In response to a request by the District Education Office of Layyah District in Punjab Province, one of the most seriously damaged areas, AAR Japan provided 17 schools with 40 large temporary tents that can serve as safe learning venues for children.

The floods affected 460,000 victims in Punjab Province, damaged or destroyed as many as 17,000 houses and damaged or submerged quite a lot of schools. In mid-August, when the new school term started, some schools had to continue their lessons in school buildings that had cracks in the walls and pillars, while others conducted classes outdoors where students sat on mats spread under the scorching sun with temperatures as high as 40℃. Responding to such pitiable situations, AAR Japan, in consultation with the District Education Office, identified 17 schools that had not received enough aid and provided them with large temporary tents, each of which can accommodate approximately 40 children. 

Children in front of the completed temporary tent
.They have been eagerly awaiting its completion.
(Layyah District, Punjab Province, September 11, 2015)

Even after the floods subside, these tents will be in use until repairs to the school buildings are completed. Also, since floods hit this area almost every year, the tents will be stored and maintained by the District Education Office so that people can use them in emergencies during future disasters.

After the flood disaster, children were forced to study directly under the scorching sun.
 Airy tents with windows enable them to better concentrate on their studies.
 (Layyah District, Punjab Province, September 11, 2015)

“I am delighted to be able to study again with my friends in a comfortable tent,” Ramzan (a fourth-grader) said.

“School started in mid-August, but some children lost their school supplies – such as textbooks and stationery – when the flood hit and they were unable to attend school for a while. The school building itself was flooded, and we were obliged to have lessons on the mats spread on the hills nearby. From late August, the floodwaters began to flow out of the precincts little by little, and we came back to study on the dry ground of the school yard. But with the strong sunshine and the rough ground, I was uncomfortable sitting there,” said Ramzan.

“The tents AAR Japan has put up are large enough for us, with windows which make the inside airy and enable us to stay cooler than if were outdoors. I feel very comfortable in the tents. Of course, I would love to study in our former classroom again as soon as possible, but I am more than happy to be back at school and to be able to study with my friends again.”

Ramzan (left, in front) having a chat with a local staffer from the AAR Japan Pakistan Office in front of the completed tent. (Layyah District, Punjab Province, September 11, 2015)

Bunjiro HARA from AAR Japan Pakistan Office
After graduating from university, HARA worked for an electric appliance manufacturer. But the multiple simultaneous terrorism acts in the U.S. motivated HARA to begin volunteer activities to support refugees from Afghanistan. After working with organizations such as international cooperative NGOs, HARA joined AAR Japan

Japanese-English translation by Ms. Motoko Komai

English editing by Ms. Fiona Chan

This article has been translated by volunteers as part of the AAR Japan’s Volunteer Programme. Their generous contributions allow us to spread our activities and ideas globally, through an ever-growing selection of our reports from the field.