German aid is beginning to arrive in areas hit by the flood wave in Asia | DW-RADIO | DW | 30.12.2004
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German aid is beginning to arrive in areas hit by the flood wave in Asia

The non-governmental organisation, the German Red Cross, is already making a major effort to help


Rudolf Seiters, a former Interior Minster, is the President of the German Red Cross

Germany has also been providing aid to the regions hit by the tsunamis. Among the projects: the German Red Cross has sent a water purification system to Sri Lanka. It can deliver 120,000 liters of drinking water every day to some 10,000 people. In order to stop diseases from spreading in a crisis region, clean water is a necessity. The plane delivering the system took off from the airport near Bonn on Wednesday evening; Deutsche Welle's Wolfgang Dick reports

Six o'clock in the morning. In the main storage facility of the German Red Cross, near Bonn, technicians are packing up the water purification system to be flown to Sri Lanka. It's big enough to fill two truck payloads. The whole
apparatus is constructed to be very robust. That way, no matter what the conditions are, it can keep supplying drinking water to people who are in desperate need, their infrastructure destroyed by the tsunamis. Clemens Pott
is working on the project.

"The system comes with its own fuel and its own generators. There's enough food for four weeks. There's a radio communications device and vehicles too. The system is made intentionally not hi-tech – there's basically no electronics at all – so that we can repair it on the spot. You can even use the packaging as a table or a storage container. We need neither help from the outside, nor
support from back in Germany."

The German Red Cross says there's more water purification systems waiting to be flown out in case there's a need. The airplane taking them is a Russian Ilyushin, especially chartered for this aid operation. The cost of the
transport is over a hundred thousand euros.

The President of the German Red Cross, Rudolf Seiters, has also been at the airport to see the plane off. Part of his job is to make sure that the machinery gets to the place where it is most needed.

"That is done by our delegates on location and also through our sister organisations and the Red Crescent. There are about 10,000 Red Cross workers total in the whole south Asian region where the tsunami disaster hit. We use
all the resources possible, that the international network offers".

In total, Germany has earmarked twenty million euros for disaster relief. The German military is bringing mobile clinics and more water purification equipment to the region. Germany has already dispatched disaster relief experts, forensic specialists to identify bodies, and medical evacuation planes to fly out the wounded. And Germany's two main Christian churches said they are launching a donation drive for the catastrophe's victims over the weekend.

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