More than 2000 people lost their lives as a result of the severe earthquake in eastern Turkey on August 19, 1966. Many more were seriously injured and tens of thousands lost their property. On August 26, 1966, a THW relief mission to Turkey started. 30 volunteers from the local sections in Bonn, Cologne and Dortmund took part, primarily working at the devastated hospital and administration buildings in Hinis.
On behalf of the German government, the Technische Hilfswerk (THW) is providing assistance to establish refugee and transit camps for Syrian refugees in the autonomous Kurdistan Region in northern Iraq. This support began in 2013, and currently the THW is assisting six camps. During a four-day visit, Gerd Friedsam, Vice-President of the THW, gained an impression of the work performed by THW operatives. Particularly interesting was a trainee programme for new international volunteers.
On January 26, 2001 an earthquake measuring 7.9 on the Richter scale struck regions of India and Pakistan. 30 THW operatives from the Rapid Deployment Unit Search and Rescue Abroad (SEEBA) set off with six rescue dogs immediately after the disaster. After their arrival in Gujarat, India, they were able to rescue two people from the rubble. The next phase of the operation saw the THW provide the local population with drinking water until July 2001, acting on the instructions of the GIZ.
In the autonomous region of Kurdistan in northern Iraq, THW has been working since 2013 to ensure that refugees from Syria and internally displaced Iraqis have safe places to find shelter. The THW measures are designed to have a sustainable effect, which is why the organisation is training the residents and promoting social involvement.
Around 11,500 THW volunteers have been providing refugee assistance in more than 300 locations across Germany. They have put in more than 106,000 hours of work, making it one of the largest THW operations in Germany since the organisation was founded. Thanks to its wide array of capabilities, THW can provide diverse support to the requesting authorities – federal states, districts, cities, town councils and aid agencies.
In the last weeks, hundreds of volunteers from THW have repeatedly supported the construction of refugee camps in Germany. In many Federal Länder the capacities for emergency accommodation still have to be expanded at short notice. As part of administrative assistance, the volunteers perform a wide range of tasks.
With the return of the remaining four volunteers at the weekend, THW's operations in Nepal were completed after 44 days. After the devastating earthquakes, THW operated mainly in Kathmandu. On behalf of the Federal Government and upon request of the Foreign Office, THW deployed 33 experts to represent German Humanitarian Aid. The THW volunteers treated drinking water for the survivors, were active on behalf of the German embassy in a variety of tasks, inspected buildings and also supported the UN as well as the EU in the areas of logistics and the coordination of the international aid. The operations were financed by the Foreign Office.
After three weeks, the Federal Agency for Technical Relief (THW) has successfully completed the water treatment in Nepal. The voluntary THW experts distributed about 1.4 million litres of clean drinking water to the local population. The local water supplier assumes the drinking water supply again after the water infrastructure had been repaired. However, the operations of THW have not yet come to an end. At the moment, damage to buildings is being assessed ,which had been caused by another earthquake on 12th May.
On Wednesday, the THW volunteers in Nepal restarted the treatment of drinking water. After another earthquake on Tuesday, THW had to briefly interrupt their work.
After another serious earthquake in Nepal, the THW volunteers in Nepal are well. One volunteer has suffered mild injuries during the aftershocks.
The drinking water treatment units, with which THW has produced clean water for about two weeks, had to be temporarily interrupted but were not damaged.
To date, the Federal Agency for Technical Relief (THW) has distributed half a million litres of water to the population in Nepal. “Our drinking water experts have once again shown that they are able to provide quick aid across the world. With the drinking water, they contribute to alleviating the suffering of those in the disaster area who are affected by the earthquake”, said THW President, Mr Albrecht Broemme. THW was the first organisation from Europe to start with the treatment and distribution of water.
Yesterday in the morning morning the relief flight of the German Red Cross (DRK), which also carried equipment of the Federal Agency for Technical Relief (THW), has landed in Nepal. The altogether 60 tons of relief items included two drinking water treatment units, a mobile laboratory as well as camping equipment for THW.
The advance team of four, deployed to support the German embassy as well as a team of the Rapid Deployment Unit Water Supply Abroad of THW (SEEWA), has arrived in the Nepalese capital Kathmandu at midday. The experts will explore the situation on site and prepare the SEEWA operations.
After the severe earthquake in Nepal with more than 2,000 deaths and about 5,000 injured people, the Federal Agency for Technical Relief (THW) has sent at noon today on Sunday an advance team to Kathmandu on behalf of the Federal Government. The task of the team of four is to support the German Embassy in coordination and reconnaissance tasks as well as the preparation of the operation. In the evening, further eleven operational staff of the Rapid Deployment Unit Water Supply Abroad (SEEWA) will fly to the operational area. They will first explore the situation on site and identify possible places of action, including water extraction sites.
For three years, the Federal Agency for Technical Relief (THW) contributed to setting up camps for Syrian refugees in Jordan and carried out maintenance work. The work of the THW volunteers in the desert ended last week with a ceremonial opening of a 60-metre long steel bridge in al Azraq.
On 12th January 2010 the earth in Haiti trembled. Due to the disaster, more than 200,000 people lost their lives, hundreds of thousands became homeless. One day after the disaster, a reconnaissance team of the Federal Agency for Technical Relief started its operations to support the German Embassy in Haiti. Altogether, the commitment of THW lasted for more than 18 months.
These days mark the first anniversary of the typhoon disaster in the Philippines: on 8th November, Haiyan swept through the island state with wind speeds of up to 236 miles/h to leave a trail of destruction. Until the end of January 2014, about 70 THW volunteers provided afterwards important emergency aid, above all in the sector of drinking water supply.
Approximately six months after it was opened, about 15,000 Syrian civil war refugees live in Camp al Azraq in Jordan. The work of the Federal Agency for Technical Relief in the areas of water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) is making progress, whilst more and more people are arriving at the camp.
About seven weeks after the appearance of the devastating floods in Serbia and Bosnia-Herzegovina, THW is till supplying the population of the Serbian town of Obrenovac with drinking water. With their drinking water treatment units, volunteers of the Rapid Deployment Unit Water Supply Abroad (SEEWA) are currently producing about 35,000 litres of water a day. THW's operations will last until the end of July.
“The people in the Philippines are in urgent need of help. With the deployment of our volunteers by the Federal Minister of the Interior, Dr Friedrich, and our technology, we want to contribute to mitigate the suffering in the affected areas”, said THW’s Vice-President, Mr Gerd Friedsam, in Berlin today on Wednesday. In the middle of the day, 17 THW volunteers will set off to the crisis area from Frankfurt and Berlin. There they will supply the population with drinking water, repair destroyed water systems and restore the infrastructure.
Upon request of the Federal Minister of the Interior, Mr Hans-Peter Friedrich, the Federal Agency for Technical Relief will send two drinking water treatment units, a laboratory for the examination of water quality as well as tools for emergency repairs of the infrastructure to the Philippine crisis region. The 19 THW-experts will start on Wednesday.
Last night, THW’s preliminary team arrived in the Philippine capital of Manila. On behalf of the Foreign Office, the five-man team is now supporting the German embassy in assessing the situation and relief possibilities to be carried out by the Federal Government. Furthermore, the THW experts are evaluating the operational options for THW.
Upon request of the Foreign Office, THW will send a five-man team to the Philippines. From the Philippine capital of Manila it will support the German embassy in assessing relief possibilities to be carried out by the Federal Government as well as exploring the deployment options for THW.
During the first international in-house exhibition about the topic of water at the National Training School in Hoya, THW offers an opportunity for innovation to more than 20 exhibitors. The wide range comprises mobile equipment, which is operated by renewable energy, and flexible water containers. For two days, the water experts of THW will carefully examine the large spectrum of mobile drinking water treatment units and accessories for worldwide use.
Premiere for THW’s Rapid Deployment Unit Water and Sanitation Abroad (SEEWA): at the beginning of June, the SEEWA-module “Middle” exercised an emergency case, together with an international unit. It was the first time that SEEWA took part in an exercise abroad. The exercise partner in Ranst, Belgium, was a team of the civil protection unit B-FAST (Belgian First Aid und Support Team).
On Wednesday, more than 1,000 THW-volunteers were virtually active to exercise a humanitarian emergency operation after a serious earthquake abroad. At Bonn’s headquarters, regional offices and offices, all management and coordination staffs were mobilised. That means that during the exercise actually about 250 full-time THW-employees and collaborators exercised an emergency case across Germany.
Under the motto “Responding to Global Challenges – Water in an Urbanising World“, the World Water Week brings this essential commodity to the public’s attention: An increasing number of people need more and more water. At the same time, drinking water resources are becoming scarce, and the pollution of water increases. THW is ready for international emergency operations to help with its drinking water treatment units.
After serious earthquakes, drinking water is often a rare commodity and vital for the surviving population. After disasters, quick help is particularly important, and everything has to run like clockwork. For four days, THW-volunteers of the SEEWA (Rapid Deployment Unit Water and Sanitation Abroad) exercised in Ulm the emergency case of such situations.
Who remembers the serious floods in Pakistan? Since July 2010, about 14 million people have suffered from the impact of the monsoon rain. After nine months, the THW-mission in Pakistan was completed yesterday. Recently, THW operated in the country as part of the relief association International Humanitarian Partnership (IHP). Another task of THW in Pakistan was the treatment of drinking water.