Banpu Volunteers Keeping Thailand Afloat
Thailand’s recent flood crisis has caused widespread devastation to life and property. However, amidst these severe conditions, a collective mentality among Thais in fighting against flood appears to be sweeping the country. An outpouring of goodwill and determination to rescue and rehabilitate the civic sector has come from the public and private citizens, through various during- and post-flood relief activities.
As a socially-responsible corporate citizen in Thai society with the corporate tenet: “an industry will be strong only when it is developed in tandem with social and environmental responsibility,” Banpu Public Company Limited is among other organizations actively assisting the flood victims.
“When the flood first hit the northern region, we decided to support the Royal Thai Army in its efforts to help flood victims, due to its capacity and immediate availability of both equipment and manpower. Later on, as the flood worsened and spread out, we did expand our support to the government’s relief fund and the Royal Thai Navy,” said Banpu CEO Chanin Vongkusolkit.
As part of Banpu’s relief efforts, a sum of 1.1 million Baht was donated to the Office of the Prime Minister’s Disaster Relief Fund; while a budget of approximately 6 million Baht in total was donated to the national armed forces’ flood relief operations, partially for the purchase of waterproof overalls, t-shirts, and men’s underwear for the relief team.
“When the flood hit Ayutthaya province, our coal distribution center in Nakhon Luang District had to temporarily cease operations as it was inundated with 2-meter-high flood waters. Instead of acting like victims, the coal center staff sent a fleet of trucks to help people in the community. This is how we came up with the idea of providing unused coal trucks from our coal warehouse in Ayutthaya, together with drivers and fuel, for use as relief trucks to the Thai Red Cross Society,” added Mr. Chanin.
Since October, Banpu has been providing 20 relief trucks with fuel and drivers to The Thai Red Cross Society for use in the transportation of relief bags, medical relief teams and volunteers into flood-affected areas. This service, to be available until the year-end, is part of Banpu’s attempts to mobilize its existing resources to help those in need during the time of the flood crisis.
“Currently, our fleet of relief trucks has enabled The Thai Red Cross Society to distribute a total of around 300,000 relief bags, covering over 450 trips, to flood victims in affected areas across the country. Another 67 mobile medical missions were also dispatched to offer health check-ups to flood victims,” revealed Udomlux Olarn, Banpu’s Senior Vice President – Corporate Affairs, who is in charge of Banpu’s flood relief activities.
In addition, under a concerted flood-relief project with the Royal Thai Navy and The Thai Red Cross Society, Banpu provided 10 motorized fiberglass boats for the distribution of relief bags and medicines, as well as the transportation of medical relief teams to assist flood victims residing in the western side of the Chao Phraya River.
As a listed company, Banpu has also contributed 20 million Baht to the ‘Capital Market Flood Relief Fund’. In collaboration with soldiers, police, and The Thai Red Cross Society staff, the fund is to be used to help flood victims during the flood and to restore the civic sector back to normalcy.
Despite a number of them being victims of this severe flood themselves, Banpu employees are determined to show their charitable spirits and “CARE” – a part of Banpu’s corporate shared value known as the ‘Banpu Spirit’. Based on genuine “sincerity”, “enthusiasm”, and “compassion”, various forms of activities are continuously undertaken to aid flood victims.
To assist its employees affected by the flood, Banpu has offered them the option of working from home; and has likewise extended assistance to them as well as their family by providing trucks for evacuation purposes 24 hours a day, aside from temporary accommodation.
“Banpu’s relief efforts worth a combined total of around 40 million Baht, may be only a small portion of the total assistance coming from all sectors across the country. It, however, demonstrates our strong intention and cooperation as a good corporate citizen that wishes for all Thais and the country to quickly get through and bounce back from the flood crisis,” concluded Mr. Chanin.