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Pakistani School Wins Zayed Sustainability Prize for Innovative Water Conservation and Farming

Date: December 02, 2023

In a remarkable achievement at the UN climate conference in Dubai, a Pakistani school managed by the Kashmir Orphan Relief Trust (KORT) secured the prestigious Zayed Sustainability Prize, bagging a substantial $100,000 reward for their groundbreaking work in water conservation and organic farming. The school emerged victorious as the best Global School in South Asia, surpassing competitors from India and Bangladesh.

At the Expo City in Dubai, the award was presented by United Arab Emirates President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed, honoring the legacy of UAE’s visionary leader, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan. This prize recognizes the efforts of small and medium enterprises, non-profit organizations, and high schools addressing critical challenges in health, food, energy, water, and climate-related issues.

Sumaiya Bibi, 19, representing the trust, highlighted the urgency of their project amid Pakistan’s looming water crisis by 2025. Orphaned during the 2005 earthquake in Kashmir, she found purpose in climate-focused initiatives. The trust aims to implement water filtration systems and sensor taps to minimize wastage while establishing organic kitchen gardens for nutritious, self-grown food at their school.

Established in 2016 for children orphaned by the devastating earthquake, KORT School and College of Excellence, based in Azad Kashmir, currently caters to over 500 students. Additionally, a new school in Swabi, housing 450 children, was inaugurated this October, expanding the trust’s reach in supporting orphaned children with education, shelter, sustenance, and healthcare.

Kinza Bibi, another 19-year-old student representing the trust, emphasized the importance of teaching water preservation to school children, reflecting the trust’s commitment to holistic education.

Chaudhry Mohammed Akhtar, the organization’s founding chairman, highlighted plans to utilize the prize money to spearhead clean water and organic farming projects in rural areas, envisioning a substantial impact on communities.

This year’s 11 prize recipients were selected in September by a distinguished panel of jury members, recognizing their commitment to delivering innovative solutions across health, food, energy, water, climate action, and global high schools. The collective prize fund of $3.6 million was distributed among these pioneering solutions aimed at transforming lives and fostering environmental change worldwide.

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