The Azerbaijan International Operating Company has successfully completed two community-designed micro-projects - a new Gym and a First Aid Station for the secondary school in Bibi-Heybat. These are part of the major Azeri-Chirag-Gunashli (ACG) Project Community Investment Programme (CIP) for the Bibi-Heybat area, where construction works for the Central Azeri Compression and Water Injection Platform (C&WP) are currently underway in the ATA (Amec, Tekfen and Azfen consortium) yard.
The parties to the Azeri-Chirag-Gunashli (ACG) Production Sharing Agreement are: BP (operator - 34.1%), Unocal (10.3%), SOCAR (10%), INPEX (10.,0%), Statoil (8,6%), ExxonMobil (8%), TPAO (6.8%), Devon (5.6%), Itochu (3.9%), Amerada Hess (2.7%).
The project implementation started in April 2004 by the International Rescue Committee (IRC) with whom AIOC signed a CIP Grant Agreement in March last year.
The project value is $25,000 of which 75% was funded by the ACG Project and the remaining $5,000 was contributed by the Bibi-Heybat community members mainly in limestone bricks for construction and labour.
The project first conducted a Community Participatory Assessment (CPA). This consisted of a four-day assessment workshop to help community members identify and prioritise their development needs and resources in different sectors such as infrastructure, health, education and economic development. The CPA process resulted in creation by the community of a Community Action Plan (CAP) for addressing their priority needs part of which was to build a new Gym and a First Aid Station for the local school using CIP and, most importantly, their own resources.
Since the construction of the gym required more funds than what was available for a single micro-project, the Action Planning Committee (APC) came up with a creative idea to combine this with construction of a first-aid station in the gymnasium building.
Fazil Babayev, a sports teacher in the Bibi-Heybat school and one of the most active members of APC, says: “The old secondary school in Bibi-Heybat was built in 1936. Construction materials from a demolished mosque were used to build the school. Several generations of the Bibi-Heybat community have benefited from this education facility for many years. However, the school has had no gymnasium to date. This fact has caused a decline in physical education activities. In cold months, schoolchildren had to get their physical education activity in open air and this resulted in frequent illnesses. Very often the physical education activities were stopped due to parents’ complaints. Now both children and their parents are happy to have this new facility.”
“As a result of their substantial collaborative efforts and gathering of internal resources, the community truly owns the project. The building is safely constructed and will function for decades to come. As a result of the school gym and school first aid station construction project, the community has advanced its development by providing the youth with better opportunities for health and physical education,” says Nigar Garibova, AIOC’s C&WP CIP Manager.
“People in the community believe that the construction of the school gym is a gift to both teachers and schoolchildren and generally to the sustainable future development of the community. Bibi-Heybat schoolchildren are particularly excited to have a new gymnasium. The children are looking forward to having physical training classes and sport competitions in the new gymnasium,” Iskandar Kerimov, the IRC Programme Manager says.
BP Press Office, Baku: +994 12 599 45 57