Insights and Analysis

At Pakistan’s Northern University, Entire Library Destroyed by Floods

September 8, 2010

Pakistan’s floods have left 10 million people without shelter and created one of the worst humanitarian disasters in history. As the water finally begins to recede in some parts of Pakistan, many communities are attempting to return home.

Nowshera, located in Pakistan’s war-torn Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, previously known as the North-West Frontier Province, was one of the areas most affected by the floods, which completely destroyed Northern University’s City Campus – the only University in the district.

Pakistan's Northern University flooded

People wade through thick mud to clean up National University after the floods completely destroyed its City Campus.

The University’s library lost all of its 11,704 books, furniture, shelves, and  extremely scarce and valuable computer equipment. Administrators and students are struggling to piece together by memory the research and thesis papers that were all also destroyed. Until now, the flooded roads prevented access, and the students have been shifted to higher ground.

Pakistan University floods

Drenched books and thesis papers are pulled out of the University's flooded library.

University trustees are pooling resources to try to reopen the library, but the needs of the district are vast, and funds hard to come by – the University was funded by the Education Development Research Trust to provide educational opportunities to young men and women who otherwise lack the resources to attend. After hearing about the destruction, The Asia Foundation’s Books for Asia program, which has donated 5,000 books to the University’s library, quickly assembled 1,000 new textbooks to immediately replace the most-needed resources in the school’s library. Last week, the first box of 500 arrived. The next is expected to arrive in time for the University’s  reopening at the end of September.

Read more about our Books for Asia program in Pakistan, or learn more about our sister organization Give2Asia’s relief work in the flood-affected areas of Pakistan.

Related locations: Pakistan
Related programs: Books for Asia


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