22 April 2022 / Vienna, Austria
War in Ukraine: Relief Effort for Water Utilities is Underway
Contributed by:
Voice of the Danube
22 April 2022

The war in Ukraine has shocked the world. Apart from untold human suffering, it causes enormous damage to vital infrastructures in the crisis zone. The IAWD/UBP family lends a hand in the coordination of an international relief effort.

Ukraine has long been part of the IAWD family, with a lively, successful Utility Benchmarking Program Hub operating with financial support by the Danube Water Program. Over the years, Hub coordinator Viktoria Iskova, CEO of the Danube Water Centre Ukraine, has built a strong network of water suppliers and sanitation companies that now represent about 60% of the cumulated supply in Ukraine.

The Ukraine Hub is in an ongoing cooperation with the Technology Transfer Water Network (TTW) at the Bavarian State Office for the Environment. In this context, amongst others, UBP members from Ukraine regularly participated in study tours in Bavaria.

Faced with the unfolding crisis, the TTW has started an initiative to support the Ukrainian water sector. The Bavarian State Ministry for the Environment and Consumer Protection quickly joined the effort and, by appealing to local water management authorities, managed to mobilize a wide range of useful equipment in a remarkably short time.

Some 200 devices - power generators, mobile heaters, VHF radios, flashlights and lighting - were collected in Munich, according to a schedule coordinated by the TTW. Every single device that was handed in was tested for functionality and safety and carefully packaged – often including operating instructions and spare parts. On 6 April the whole aid delivery was handed over to Schenker Deutschland AG for transport to Ukraine.

UBP Hub coordinator Viktoria Iskova joined TTW colleague Volodymyr Pushkar, and together they shouldered the matching of available equipment, known demand, and suitable recipients in Ukraine and helped to organize the transport on Ukrainian national territory. All goods are delivered directly to companies in urgent need of help in their efforts to put damaged water infrastructures back in service, among them CE Chernihivvodokanal and ME Kharkivvodokanal. Further aid campaigns are in preparation.

Viktoria Iskova, who herself had only recently escaped from the war zone to Munich, thanked Bavarian Minister of State Glauber and TTW's Professor Grambow on behalf of her contacts in Ukraine, stating that for her this active support is a source of hope and confidence, and has meaning far beyond the purely material help.

Following on the heels of the Covid-19 emergency, this second major crisis in a very short period proves again the value of cross-border cooperation in a strong network of water suppliers and sanitation companies.

For German language information on the Bavarian initiative please follow the link below, and please monitor Voice of the Danube for future water-related relief initiatives. The Voice of the Danube community welcomes and ecourages all individual contributions that help to alleviate the incomprehensible suffering of the people in Ukraine.