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SEEWA exercises earthquake operation

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.

First, the helpers prepared their equipment for air transport and organised access to the operational area. In the tent camp, the SEEWA-staff treated water from the neighbouring Danube and checked its quality in a laboratory tent. Furthermore, they practiced the operation of a satellite communications facility. The training was completed by the dismantling of the tent camp and the drinking water treatment units for the return journey to Germany.

The tasks of SEEWA comprise reconnaissance, mobile drinking water treatment, distribution of water, water analysis, technical advice and repair of destroyed water supply systems. After the alert, the Rapid Deployment Units of THW are ready for takeoff within a few hours and can be independently deployed in the whole world. Since their foundation in 2004, the ten-headed teams have been deployed several times – recently after the serious earthquake on Haiti and the heavy floods in Pakistan.

  • For the operation of the drinking water treatment units, the volunteers of SEEWA established the autonomous supply with electricity by using a generator. (show image)

  • With its equipment, SEEWA is able to provide about 30,000 people per day with drinking water.  (show image)

  • In large catchment tanks, the force of gravity separates water and particulate matter.  (show image)

  • In the laboratory tent, SEEWA-volunteers check the quality of the treated water.  (show image)

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