file under: Facilities, Design-Build, Middle East/Africa, Federal Government

Facilities + Design-Build

Mountains of Challenges, Enduring Rewards

Rebuilding Vital Facilities in Pakistan

In October 2005, a 7.6-magnitude earthquake shook northwest Pakistan—claiming more than 85,000 lives, leveling 272,000 buildings, and leaving millions homeless and without water, power and bridges. On the ground and helping soon after, we started to rebuild these affected communities and strengthen their economic well-being by implementing a 5-year, $120 million design-build contract to reconstruct vital health care and educational facilities.

Supporting this critical recovery and community rebuilding program not only provides vital facilities, but also helps to restore hope among the millions affected by the devastating quake. 

Approximately 150 schools, health clinics and hospitals are being designed and built to meet internationally recognized earthquake-resistant standards and provide handicap access. Using a modular approach, these facilities are based on seismically sound structural designs and locally available materials—helping to get buildings in place quickly. If a suitable location cannot be found in the often remote, austere, steep and geologically unstable areas where they once existed, the team looks to centrally locate facilities and serve even more people.

The project is also about building community relationships. Social mobilization brings together employees from affected areas with representatives from the proposed facility and its beneficiaries—parents, medical personnel and community members. These partnerships help communities know what to expect and understand their roles in maintaining the infrastructure. And because the program emphasizes the involvement of local vendors and suppliers, communities benefit from the creation of jobs and businesses that contribute to economic viability, and local firms have begun addressing seismic concerns in their other projects. Schools and healthcare facilities are valuable assets in any community, but here, we’re improving the lives of people who have suffered greatly.

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U.S. Agency for International Development