Israel NGO partners with UNICEF to bring fresh water technology to Cameroon
Innovation:Africa & UNICEF
An Israeli NGO, Innovation: Africa, partnered with UNICEF Cameroon in an innovative project to install clean water technology and enhanced health care services for thousands of refugees from the Central African Republic.
The collaboration has been in effect since April 2017 when the engineers began to identify sites and construct plans for the selected rural villages.
Initiated by Israeli ambassador to Cameroon, Ran Gidor, who introduced the UNICEF team in Bertoua to Innovation: Africa’s founder and CEO Sivan Yaari, the aim was to seek out “sustainable partnerships” that would lead to effective “generational change” across and within rural communities.
The project itself is multifaceted and concentrates on improving water and healthcare facilities for those most in need. A solar powered clean water project, utilizing Israeli technology, was installed in the East Region villages enabling clean water from the underground aquifers to become increasingly accessible to the inhabitants.
The project also provided solar power to three medical centers -- Garga Sarali, Tongo Gandima and Ngoura Central -- as a way of extending treatment hours into the night and refrigerating medication.
Sivan Yaari, Founder and CEO of Innovation: Africa said in a press release: "I am so thankful to Ambassador Ran Gidor for introducing us to UNICEF and I thank the UNICEF Cameroon leadership for partnering with Innovation: Africa to bring much needed assistance to these villages.”
"Being here in Cameroon to see electricity in medical centers and clean water shows how we can change the world by working together," she continued.
The project, Yaari said, will “improve the daily lives and futures of over tens of thousands of refugees of conflict in Africa” and will “bring significant global attention to the dire situation ravaging the Central African Republic.”
Crisis in the Central African Republic
Since the outbreak of the conflict in 2013 following a violent takeover of power, the situation in the Central African Republic has been steadily deteriorating.
The conflict resulted from fighting between the predominantly Muslim Seleka in the north and the Christian anti-Balaka militias in the South, centered on control of scarce natural resources.
The Council on Foreign Relations stated that between 3,000 to 6,000 people have been killed through increased executions and mutilations.
According to UN sources, the conflict has driven more than 600,000 people from their homes internally and pushed an additional 500,000 across borders with many escaping to neighbouring Cameroon seeking shelter and food.
A USAID report stated that Cameroon, a region the size of Iceland, currently hosts an estimated 230,000 refugees. The Guardian stated that Cash for World Food Program’s work with Central African refugees in Cameroon has reportedly dropped off meaning food rations for refugees had to be halved, placing pressure on the country’s already scarce resources.
AFP contributed to this report.
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