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Germany

Germany Sends Clean-Water Team to Burma

A team from Germany's Federal Disaster Relief Agency (THW) left for Burma on Tuesday to assess sites for water-purification plants in the disaster area after Cyclone Nargis.

A THW staff member prepares goods to be flown to Burma

The THW hopes to help stop the spread of disease

The mission, in association with the UN World Food Programme and funded by the German Foreign Ministry, plans to set up six clean-water plants in areas where filthy water is spreading fatal diseases more than a week after the killer storm ravaged parts of Burma.

The THW, Germany's volunteer disaster relief agency, voiced confidence the team would be allowed in by the Burmese military government, saying the authorities were "evidently opening the borders."

A 12-person ready-reaction team, a transport specialist and a German diplomat were on a regular flight to Rangoon via Bangkok, and the water-treatment machinery was waiting on the ground in the Frankfurt area to leave by air on Tuesday evening for Asia.

The team, expected to arrive in Rangoon late Tuesday, has been assigned to pick six sites for mobile plants which would begin to arrive by air cargo on Wednesday. Four of the plants can turn out 6,000 liters of drinkable water per hour.

The THW is funded by the German Interior Ministry and specializes in bringing food, water and infrastructure to disaster zones.