Unilever Pakistan, HANDS partner to develop model village in Thatta

KARACHI:Unilever Pakistan and HANDS Pakistan said in a statement on Wednesday that they have rehabilitated the village of Essa Rajero IN Thatta, which was devastated by the 2022 floods. Following the catastrophic floods, Unilever Pakistan had announced an “Adopt a Village” project to create model communities in flood-affected areas. As part of this effort, Unilever Pakistan adopted villages in Thatta and D.G. Khan. In partnership with HANDS Pakistan, this initiative has developed resilient communities with sustainable houses and basic infrastructure, providing WASH services, access to clean water energy, and education.

The program also focuses on equipping flood-affected individuals with skills and resources necessary to diversify their livelihood options. With this vision, Unilever and HANDS have established a Community-Based Organization (CBO) comprising local community members, which assumes a pivotal role in both decision-making processes and the village’s reconstruction efforts.

The organization has successfully built 90 houses in the village that has helped the communities rebuild their lives. The development work is complete, and people have been made self-reliant and resilient in the face of future challenges.

Amir Paracha, Chairman and CEO, Unilever Pakistan, highlighted, “The aftermath of such disasters often leaves families grappling with the loss of their homes and livelihoods. In response to these challenges, ‘Unilever for Pakistan’ stands as a multi-faceted effort to rebuild lives. With profound responsibility to contribute to relief and rehabilitation of the flood affectees, our focus remains climate preparedness and climate resilience.”

Additionally, according to Dr. Shaikh Tanveer Ahmed, CE of HANDS Pakistan, “People frequently find themselves struggling with the catastrophic loss of their homes and livelihoods after significant calamities such as floods. ‘HANDS Pakistan’ arises as a comprehensive project dedicated to rebuilding destroyed lives and rehabilitation in response to these daunting problems. HANDS Pakistan has a firm commitment to helping people impacted by the floods.”

In 2022, Unilever Pakistan’s response to the floods included emergency relief with provision of ration packs, cooked meals, hygiene kits, and medical camps. The organization’s brands also actively participated, with Lifebuoy setting up floating medical clinics to provide easy access to doctors and medicines and Surf Excel launching a ‘clothes donation drive’ to provide clean clothes.

Pakistan is anticipated to face severe climate-related incidents, which underscores the concept of constructing model villages. The purpose behind this endeavor is to equip at-risk communities, enhancing their capacity to withstand and respond effectively to such events in the coming years. Building resilient communities involves fostering a sense of togetherness and collaboration. Unilever stays committed to encouraging active community building and fostering a supportive environment for individuals to regain their footing and rebuild their lives.