HOBAS helps tsunami victims help themselves

Through its sister companies in Europe, HOBAS broadened its involvement in a tsunami relief effort in Southeast Asia, with projects in Sri Lanka, Thailand and Indonesia. This isn't designed to sell pipe, say company officials, but to encourage other companies to continue to provide help. Relief efforts and reconstruction projects likely will extend over many years...

HOUSTON, TX, April 8, 2005 -- HOBAS Pipe USA has joined with its sister HOBAS companies around the world to provide assistance for the victims of the Tsunami last December. "While HOBAS doesn't usually publicize its contributions, it is doing so this time to encourage other companies to help," said Kimberly Paggioli, marketing manager for HOBAS Pipe USA, which is based in Houston.

Thousands of people in Southeast Asia lost their homes, family members and friends in the disaster. Paggioli explained, "HOBAS executives believe one of the worst consequences is the victims have also been robbed of their jobs, making it almost impossible for them to rebuild any semblance of their former lives. It seems as if there's little we can do to prevent catastrophes of such great dimension. What we can do, however, is to help those who are in need with donations.

"The HOBAS companies have not only donated generously to the Bush Clinton Fund, here at home in the USA, but are also making contributions from other factories around the world. One of the greatest single donations came from HOBAS Pipe Austria, a country that is home to HOBAS Engineering and HOBAS management.

"This fund raising campaign is being supported by many Austria-based companies and has raised over $1.86 million so far. The money goes toward the project dubbed 'Wir bauen Leben' meaning 'We build life.' It is being coordinated by Hilfswerk Austria, an international aid organization."

"The projects receiving the funds have three purposes: Education, Health and Economy. The establishment of traditional and vocational schools will provide for education, some offering specialized courses in subjects such as tourism. Medical centers will be built to provide care for the sick or injured. The third purpose, the economy of the disaster areas, will be devoted to economic advancement. Many of the affected people are fishermen. Now that all fishing boats have been destroyed, they have no way earn a living. In this case, the funds are going toward new fishing boats for the people in Sri Lanka in order to help them help themselves.

"HOBAS contributed almost $10,000 to this specific campaign because of its large scope. The survivors will not only be provided with basics such as food, drinking water, clothing or housing, but projects to ensure effective long-term help by stimulating local economies. The HOBAS contribution will go toward the establishment of three villages in Balapitya, Sri Lanka, Koh Siray (near Phuket), Thailand, and Banda Aceh, Indonesia."

HOBAS (www.hobaspipe.com) manufactures centrifugally cast, fiberglass reinforced, polymer mortar pipe in sizes from 18 to 110 inches. It's widely used for sanitary sewers, potable water and corrosive environments. Since 1960, more than 37,000 miles of HOBAS pipe have been laid in more than 50 countries around the world, enough to circle the globe one and one-half times.

The HOBAS Group (www.hobas.com) has subsidiaries in the fields of production, engineering and sales in Europe and 20 license partners worldwide. HOBAS AG has its headquarters in Basel, Switzerland.

Photos courtesy of Hilfswerk (www.hilfswerk.at), the disaster relief group that's organizing these donations. They've granted permission to publish these images.

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