Ukraine : securing drinking water access for populations living in conflict zones

As a result of the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, many treatment facilities have been shelled and thus heavily damaged. The local population’s access to drinking water was at risk. Swiss Humanitarian Aid first dispatched 4 Maxi-WATA™ devices in order to make some of these treatment facilities functional again. Given the positive results, Swiss Humanitarian Aid then deployed 17 Midi-WATA™ and an additional 89 Maxi-WATA™ devices on the front line. Some 400,000 people have benefited, among which 300,000 are direct beneficiaries. Thus, even in conflict areas, it is possible to reach and deliver drinking water to those most vulnerable. Using WATA™ devices, it is possible to produce a liquid chlorine solution locally, which is important in conflict areas as gaseous chlorine is often under embargo or could be misused.

General objective : Make water treatment facilities functional again in conflict areas in order to supply drinking water

Beneficiaries : 417,000 (2018)

Partners : Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC)

Number of WATA devices sold : 110

Project duration : 2015-current

For more information :

Ukraine : First Swiss aid convoy using rail transport reaches Donetsk

Situation in Ukraine : Switzerland sends a humanitarian train (video, in French)

Swiss aid convoys to eastern Ukraine reach initial destinations

Lessons learnt :

  • The production of chlorine in the conflict area has been more difficult than in other projects because of the lack of electricity.
  • The local partner water utility’s capacity to treat water has shown high resilience to the difficult conditions and displayed autonomy.
  • The approach can be replicated in other conflict areas and have a high impact, but requires a reliable partner.
  • The project has benefited from cooperation with the SDC as the organisation provided critical contributions for the provision of safe water in a conflict zone.