Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan city opened in Balakot, Pakistan
WAM Islamabad, May 05th, 2012 (WAM) -- UAE handed over to the Pakistan authorities on Friday, the Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan city it built in Garhi Habibullah near Mansehra in Balakot. The modern city, built as a humanitarian gesture of UAE, replaces the township which was totally pulled down in earthquake of October 2005.
The new city, consisting of 211 houses and other utilities, was opened on Friday by Ahmed Humaid Al Mazrouei, Chairman Board of Directors of the UAE Red Crescent in the presence of Essa Abdulla Al Basha Al Noaimi, UAE Ambassador in Pakistan and a number of Pakistani officials.
Speaking on the occasion Al Mazroui said that, the initiatives of UAE President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan in this vital area is a continuation of the humanitarian efforts of the founding President of UAE the late Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan.
Sheikh Khalifa has been actively following the humanitarian eforts to alleviate the hardships brought about by the earthquake in Balakot, added Al Mazroui.
The handing overtook place after the completion of all phases of construction of the city as shelter to the families affected by natural disasters that destroyed their homes in Balakot town and surrounding villages. They are provided by decent comfortable houses which will enable them to return to normal life. The new buildings will have resistance against earthquakes of high magnitude.
The dignitaries from the UAE were received by town councilor Mian Muhammad Naqshbandi and representatives of Earthquake Reconstruction and Rehabilitation Authority (ERRA). A large number of people of the area gathered there and raised slogans of greetings and appreciation for the UAE and its leaders.
Each house consists of two bedrooms, drawing'&'dining; kitchen and bathroom. The city has two separate schools for boys and girls, a clinic and a mosque. Khalifa City is part of the aid provided by the government and people of the UAE and the cost is estimated at AED12 million. The implementation of the project was closely followed-up by HH Sheikh Hamdan Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, ruler's representative in the western region and Chairman of UAE Red Crescent Authority.
Khalifa City is part of the ongoing projects in health and social care carried out on the bases of bilateral relations of the two countries laid down by the founder of the UAE late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan.
The Red Crescent spent AED113 million during the past years on humanitarian relief and rehabilitation phases, orphanages, development projects and drilling hundreds of water wells and vaccination campaigns in collaboration with UN agencies. The Red Crescent delegation appreciated sentiments of the people especially the children and students who lined up near the entrance of the city to greet them.
A group of elders expressed their appreciation of the initiative of Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan president of the UAE to alleviate the suffering of the affected rebuild their community.
Ambassador Essa Abdullah Al Basha Al Noaimi in his speech said that the opening of Khalifa City is an important moment for us and for the families affected by the 2005 earthquake.
"It reflects the commitment of the UAE to its humanitarian mission and demonstrates the depth of relations between the two countries" said Al Nuaimi.
He added that the UAE Red Crescent is working on number of other social welfare, health and educational projects in various parts of Pakistan.
Al Mazrouei said he was proud to see the completion of Khalifa City and the handing over of homes to the families of the victims of the earthquake. He said late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, founder of the UAE laid the foundations of strong relationship between the two brotherly countries.
Provincial Minister of Irrigation Syed Hussain Shah on behalf of the chief minister and people of KPK extended thanks and gratitude to the UAE for its humanitarian role in providing relief and rehabilitation work to victims of natural disaster in Mansehra district. (with inputs from the News).