In June 2010, severe floods hit many parts of Pakistan leaving hundreds of villages completely submerged and destroyed. A year on, once the water levels had receded, ground realities were clearer as to how much damage had been done and what were the areas that required urgent attention.
In this regard, an elementary health, hygiene and nutrition survey was carried out during 2010-11 in the district Sheikhupura (a province of Punjab, Pakistan) by Stimulus (Pvt) Limited, a local consultant, with the help of Care Foundation, an NGO. The results of the survey highlighted that many children were suffering from severe water-borne and gastric diseases, such as diarrhea, dysentery, vomiting, and stomach viruses.
To arrest the water contamination situation, Stimulus developed a project, whereby a water filtration plant could be setup in the affected village to facilitate provision of clean drinking water for the villagers in order to minimize health hazards. Deutsche Bank thus took on this project, which would potentially benefit more than 1,000 villagers.
The project kick-started in July 2011 and was targeted to be completed by December 2011. However, various impediments such as the epidemic dengue virus (mosquito-borne viral fever) in the village slackened work on the ground. Moreover, major spikes in petroleum prices called for the entire project to be revisited – plans for the generators were changed to be powered by solar panels, as opposed to petroleum fuel. This was a more cost-efficient option in the long run, but came at a higher start-up cost.
The project title "DB Pakistan - 50th Anniversary Water Project", stems from the fact that Deutsche Bank was also celebrating its 50 years of operations in Pakistan in July 2011. The project - expected to be completed by the second quarter of 2012 - is testimony of the Bank’s efforts in giving back to the community.