ÖBB Rail Cargo Group, Europe’s leading rail logistics provider, and STRABAG SE, Austria’s largest construction company, are pooling their resources to provide housing for people affected by February’s earthquakes in Adıyaman Province of southeastern Turkey. One month later, the situation in the region remains extremely critical. After the quakes Adıyaman is now also affected by the heavy rains and floods of the last days. Several million people are in urgent need of housing, food, medicine and hygiene products. One of the biggest challenges is getting the supplies to where they are needed.
“After the devastating earthquakes in Turkey and Syria, it was immediately clear that we had to help. Just a few days after the terrible events, we were able to deliver 2,000 winter jackets to the disaster area and a short while later set up a special fund for employees who have relatives affected by the quake. The fund will temporarily cover expenses such as rental costs and housing for the families,” says Klemens Haselsteiner, CEO of STRABAG. “But it was also important for us to organise direct relief measures as quickly as possible. Together with Rail Cargo Group, we then came up with the idea to deliver and set up a container village in the region.”
Container village: temporary homes in the disaster area
STRABAG and Rail Cargo Group have teamed up to build a container village providing a temporary home for around 30 families in the region. A special train from Rail Cargo Group will deliver the 30 STRABAG site cabins along with three sanitary containers to Turkey. According to Turkish authorities, this is the largest container delivery for the Adıyaman region from abroad. Other supplies, such as furniture and urgently needed hygiene articles, are also on board the train. The containers will be set up in the municipality of Gölbaşı as living space for people left homeless by the devastating earthquakes.
Two STRABAG employees will coordinate and accompany the installation of the container homes and their connection to the local infrastructure.
Challenging logistics: aid on track
The 220-tonne train is on its way to Turkey, travelling 2,800 kilometres from Bratislava to Gölbaşı in Adıyaman Province. The route for Rail Cargo Group runs through Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria and ends at the Turkish border. From there, the Turkish State Railways will handle further transport to the final destination, where the containers will be handed over to aid organisations on site.
Imre Kovács, member of the Board Rail Cargo Group: “The infrastructure in the earthquake region has been severely damaged. It was therefore important for us to help out doing what we do best – with transport and logistics services via our TransNET to Turkey. As the sustainable logistics backbone of the European economy, we see it as our responsibility to help people in emergency situations.”
The container homes are scheduled to be ready for occupancy approximately two weeks after the container’s arrival and will be occupied for at least one year until newly constructed housing is available in the region.