Among a package of initiatives, the Company is funding vital medical equipment which will benefit thousands of residents, a new system to provide safe drinking water for a remote village, the refurbishment of school science labs, and an innovative road safety initiative using renewable energy.
PDO unveiled the full list of projects at an official signing ceremony of eight Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) with community leaders at its Knowledge World complex today (30 November). The event was attended by guest of honour His Excellency Saud bin Salim Al Balushi, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Education for Educational Planning and Human Resources Development.
PDO Managing Director Raoul Restucci said: “PDO is committed to supporting Omani communities with targeted social investment to address specific needs.
“These latest MoUs will bring direct benefits to a number of people and good causes across the Sultanate and show that, notwithstanding the challenging economic environment, we are staying the course on our corporate social responsibility programme.”
PDO is funding the replacement of outdated echocardiography equipment for the regional hospital in Ibri, where heart failure is the third highest in Oman, with two state-of-the-art machines. The new machines will support the early diagnosis and treatment of approximately 2,400 cardiac cases per year.
The Company will also supply Haima and Al Jazir hospitals, which serve a joint population of 17,000 residents, with specialist medical apparatus which will replace outdated or unavailable equipment in various departments including general laboratory, dental, maternity, ophthalmology, paediatrics and radiology.
Additionally, the Company is supplying two new ambulances to the hospitals to help enhance their response time to health emergencies, including traffic accidents, which numbered 300 in their catchment area in 2016 alone.
Another project involves the funding of solar-powered lighting on the approaches to, and on, Al Mafraq roundabout in wilayat Al Jazir, a key traffic hub linking most major routes in South Oman. The project aims to increase road safety at night and is another example of PDO’s strong commitment to sustainability and its aspiration to turn the Sultanate into a centre of excellence for renewable energy efficiency.
The Company has also responded to a request to replace the current water tank and piping infrastructure to provide safe drinking water to the village of Barsas in wilayat Thumrait benefiting around 140 people.
“Health and safety remain at the top of PDO’s priorities and the Company is committed to enhancing these areas both within the boundaries of our operations and beyond,” Mr Restucci added.
Further afield, PDO is funding the refurbishment of science laboratories within three schools, catering for almost 1,000 students in PDO’s concession area in Mahoot, Al Duqum and Al Jazir. The new labs will create a suitable environment for the teaching of science, technology, engineering and mathematics, through hands-on experimentation and research work.
Mr Restucci concluded: “Investing in science and technical education like this is important as we believe hands-on laboratory learning is both an effective teaching method and also fosters the students’ interest in subjects which are central to Oman’s future.
“We are working closely with education authorities and with our partners to bridge the gap between what is taught in our schools and the vocational skills needed for the workplace, and our social investment programme helps to underpin this approach.”
The MoUs confirming these commitments were signed by Mr Restucci and senior government officials, including H.E. Sheikh Mohammed bin Saif Al Mahrooqi, Wali of Al Jazir; H.E. Sheikh Musallam bin Abdullah Al Hadhri, Wali of Thumrait; Sheikh Ali bin Abdullah Al Habsi, Director General of Health Services in Al Dhahirah Governorate; Mohammed bin Hilal Al Mahrooqi, Assistant Director for Financial Affairs at the Directorate of Education in Al Wusta Governorate; and Khalifa bin Saif Al Yaqoobi, Director General of Health Services in Al Wusta Governorate.