A friend in need
It’s been 21 days since Russia invaded Ukraine. Since then, already 3 million people have left their homeland and are seeking refuge in neighbouring countries and beyond.
Keeping refugees safe is paramount, and providing safe water services is vital to refugees’ health.
The Polish Waterworks Chamber of Commerce (IGWP) is working hard to deliver services to the 1.8 million people who have already arrived there.
The Chamber is providing practical support for the water companies in Ukraine by collecting materials and data from colleagues across Europe and the rest of the world that they can deliver to Ukraine. They are also setting up a dedicated website where they will publish the needs of the Ukrainian water sector, https://www.igwp.org.pl/pomoc-dla-ukrainy/.
In addition to these material and information needs, the IGWP is also organising financial support and are collecting money for humanitarian and technical needs.
Romania has now welcomed almost half a million people, with organised transitory camps close to the border where refugees are receiving food, medical assistance, a place to rest, legal assistance, translation facilities, etc.
Water operators are part of the country’s Local Emergency Committees, and as such are providing drinking water in tanks and installing and operating mobile toilets in the camps. The regional water operator Apaserv Satu Mare financed the acquisition of seven power generators and 10 water tanks for the town of Beregovo in Ukraine
Meanwhile, in Germany, Stadtentwässerung Dresden GmbH (SE Dresden) has been organising and providing concrete help to the Ukrainian cities of Lviv, Nadvirna and Ternopil over the past two weeks with the support of other water and waste water operators in Germany. Four large articulated lorries with important equipment ranging from frequency converters to emergency power generators and line meters arrived in Lviv on March 7, another delivery arrived on Monday this week.
From next week on, help for water management will be organised centrally via the German associations, led by the Association of Municipal Enterprises (VKU).
The UN SDG6 calls for safe water and sanitation for all. We are watching with horror as years of efforts are being destroyed in this war.
We will bring you more about the European water sector’s response to the conflict in Ukraine as we receive word.