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UAE Water Aid Foundation strives to find sustainable solutions to water shortages internationally

posted on 12/06/2016: 1348 views



The UAE has established a role in international efforts to combat humanitarian challenges, as well as having a strong presence in emergency and long-term humanitarian aid all around the world.

In June 2014, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, launched the UAE Water Aid Foundation (Suqia) to provide clean water to five million people worldwide. Suqia managed to raise AED 180 million in 18 days, to provide clean drinking water to 7 million people around the world, in cooperation with the Emirates Red Crescent.

In March 2015, HH Sheikh Mohammed issued a law establishing the UAE Water Aid Foundation as non-profit organisation, to enhance the sustainability of the initiative. Today, the UAE Water Aid Foundation is under the umbrella of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives, and strives to find sustainable solutions to the issue of water scarcity. It promotes happiness within poor and disaster-stricken communities by fostering and investing in innovative and sustainable solar-powered pure water solutions through effective partnerships in a sustainable and efficient platform, aligned with best international practices. The Foundation also supervises The Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Water Award, an annual USD 1 million international award, allocated to research and development of new technologies and mechanisms in solar power to produce water. The initiative has allocated this fund to finding sustainable solutions that help address water shortages internationally, particularly by using solar energy for desalination and purification. The award invites companies, scientific organisations, research centres, and innovators, to present their innovative projects and participate in the award. The Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Water Award comprises of three categories.

These are the Innovative Projects Award (Small and Large projects), the Innovative Research and Development Award (National and International institutions), and the Innovative Youth Award. The UAE Water Aid Foundation is accepting applications from 22 March 2016 until 31 July 2016.

Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, Chairman of the Board of Trustees, UAE Water Aid Foundation, said: 'The wise vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, is demonstrated by the launch of the UAE Water Aid Foundation (Suqia), which falls under the umbrella of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives.' 'We are working to achieve the objectives set out by the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives to combat poverty and disease. Suqia is spearheading research into solutions for water shortages in drought-affected areas by providing drinking water, and clean water from modern techniques, and purifying water using solar power.' The goals of the UAE Water Aid Foundation, he explained, are not only confined to the provision of potable water to the needy across the globe; it also contributes to finding innovative and sustainable solutions to the issue of water scarcity across the globe, through Research and Development (R&D), by focusing on the use of solar energy to provide purified water. HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum has initiated an award worth USD $1 million, to emphasise the UAE's efforts to find a solution to these challenges being faced by the international community.

Mohammed Abdulkareem Al Shamsi, Acting Executive Director, said: 'The UAE Water Aid Foundation (Suqia) strives to support international efforts to fight poverty and disease, by finding sustainable solutions to international water scarcity. Suqia provides clean water to different places around the world. The number of international beneficiaries exceeded 3.5 million by the end of 2015. This was achieved by joint cooperation with different charity organisations in the UAE. This year, Suqia aims to expand its Research and Development (R&D) framework, in cooperation with DEWA, to find sustainable solutions to the desalination of water using solar energy.

He indicated that Sheikh Mohammed launched the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Water Award to find new solutions and technologies for the production of water using solar power. 'We invite companies, scientific organisations, research centres, and innovators, to present their innovative projects and participate in the award,' he added.

The UAE Water Aid Foundation has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Charity and Humanitarian Establishment to enhance joint cooperation in helping and developing countries in need, and facilitating collaboration to implement joint humanitarian initiatives and projects that serve the strategies and objectives of both organisations. This enhances their social roles within an established framework and set methodologies. The MoU also helps both organisations to effectively use their potential and existing resources to address water scarcity and water pollution.

Suqia cooperates with the Emirates Red Crescent, the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Charity and Humanitarian Establishment, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, to provide potable water to the needy, the disadvantaged, and those who are in distress around the world. After the MoU was signed in 2015, the sides worked together to provide drinking water to people in Somalia, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Ghana, Yemen, and Benin to help 60,000 people, through 10 different projects. So far this year, the foundation has launched 14 international projects, with over 100,000 people directly benefitting from them.

In the holy month of Ramadan in 2015, Suqia distributed over 2.5 million packs of bottled drinking water to those fasting in the UAE, via local charity and NGO institutions. Over 12 million packs of water were sent to those affected in Yemen, in cooperation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and international Cooperation. This Ramadan, the foundation aims to increase its goal of providing drinking water within the UAE and abroad, and will organise campaigns to raise money in cooperation with other organisations, support water management projects, and achieve its set objectives.

As for Suqia Research & Development (R&D), Suqia's R&D projects include reverse osmosis of seawater by a photovoltaic desalination plant, and water purification using solar technology with a capacity of 7.7 cubic meters per day. UAE Water Aid also conducts R&D, and makes use of solar energy to desalinate seawater within the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park, which is capable of storing electricity at 50 cubic metres per day. - Emirates News Agency, WAM - http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates/1395296609026.html

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