Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the City of Yokohama, Japan has been in close contact with its sister city of Odesa, having held multiple online meetings between their respective mayors, and has been providing various kinds of support, including fund-raising, accepting refugees, and donating water purification equipment to support Ukraine’s water supply.
In July 2022, in response to a request from the mayor of Odesa, the City of Yokohama, in collaboration with JICA, delivered a donation of 33 water purification devices to Odesa, Ukraine to secure the drinking water supply to its citizens in the face of Russian attack. Ukraine’s water supply is an extremely important lifeline to its citizens, and Odesa’s concerns were that Russian attack could affect drinking water availability.
These fears became a reality when in September 2022, the city of Mykolaiv suffered a Russian attack that cut off the city’s water supply. With efforts to negotiate sending technicians over enemy lines to fix the water supply lines having failed, Mykolaiv is facing a crisis that could last over half a year at estimates. According to the Ukrainian news video below, currently, water lines in the city, if still flowing, are producing a brown, rusty liquid that is not fit for consumption by the roughly half a million citizens of Mykolaiv.
In response to the crisis, Odesa was able to quickly deliver a portion of the Yokohama-provided water purifiers to Mykolaiv to help fill the need for clean drinking water that its citizens suddenly faced. There are now 10 different purification stations that citizens can access, beyond purchasing bottled water from stores.
While the situation in Ukraine remains dire, Yokohama City is glad that its donation is able to serve the people of Ukraine in their time of need, both in its sister city of Odesa, and throughout other parts of the country.