Muscat: The Petroleum Development Oman (PDO) on Thursday signed 10 Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) for social investment projects worth more than RO 3.5 million. The MoUs aim to benefit Omani communities across the Company’s concession area through social investment initiatives in different fields including education, safety, infrastructure and non-governmental organisation (NGO) support. The MoU were signed in an official ceremony attended by Dr Madeeha bint Ahmed al Shaibaniyah, Minister of Education, at PDO’s Knowledge World venue in Muscat. Among the initiatives, PDO will construct 12 wings for girl students in seven schools in Al Wusta, one in Al Dakhiliyah and four in Dhofar.
Each wing will consist of eight classrooms, two offices, two teachers’ rooms, a football playground, a school canteen and supporting facilities, which will help to boost girls’ education and inclusion. The Company also recently completed the building of a new school in Al Athaiba, and started building one in Dhahboon and a school extension in Hamra Al Duru. The Education Minister said: “It is a great opportunity to sign the MoU between PDO and the governmental and non-governmental organisations, while we are celebrating Renaissance Day, to continue the development journey across all fields in the Sultanate.
This proves that economic and social development relies on the collaborative resources and experiences of both governmental and private sectors. “The Ministry of Education has co-operated with PDO on many fruitful initiatives and today we continue this through signing this MoU to build the 12 school wings.” The signing of the MoUs also underlines PDO’s commitment to support NGOs, acknowledging their important role in sustaining community development. One agreement was signed with the Oman Association for the Disabled aiming to supply specialist equipment for the disabled, including electrically operated wheelchairs.
Another was signed to renovate a rehabilitation centre for disabled children in the Wilayat of Adam and another aimed at further building PDO’s relationship with Special Olympics Oman to support its activities for two years. In addition, PDO will support the construction of two majlises (public halls) in Agareet and Rahab in the Wilayat of Shaleem, which will provide venues for any official or social gathering. To date, the Company has already built more than 20 majlises across its concession area as important communal hubs for local residents.
The Company will also continue its ongoing support for the community in Haima by funding the renovation of the camel race track there.
PDO is also backing the expansion and renovation of Falaj Al Washhi at Al Kharma in Izki and sponsor the maintenance of Falaj Al Qaswat.
The Company is stepping up its efforts to enhance road safety, both within its boundaries and beyond and extending its installation of solar self-lit reflectors which improve visibility at night and inclement weather.
PDO has already launched a programme to fix the “cat’s eye” devices on more than 1,000 kilometres of road in the North and South of its operations and will now expand the installation to cover the 320 kilometre Adam-Thamrait road.
The MoUs confirming the new commitments were signed by PDO Managing Director Raoul Restucci and senior Government and NGO representatives including Said bin Hamdoon al Harthy, Under-Secretary for Ports and Maritime Affairs, Shaikh Mohammed Taher Barham, Wali of Shaleem, Shaikh Hamed Rashid al Muqbali, Wali of Adam, Sheikh Ahmed bin Ali al Durei, Deputy Wali of Haima, Said bin Ali al Malki, Deputy Chairman of the Oman Association for Disabled, Said bin Nasser al Habsi, Director-General of Water Resources Evaluation in the Ministry of Regional Municipalities and Water Resources, and Saif Mohammed al Rubaey, Vice-Chairman of Special Olympics Oman.
Restucci said: “Our Social Investment programme aims to contribute to the sustainable development of Omani communities and to address their specific needs through a variety of different projects executed in co-operation with governmental and non-governmental bodies.
“Thousands of people will reap real benefits from these latest MoUs in the fields of education, safety and infrastructure and directly share in the rewards from our oil and gas activities. — ONA