TAIPEI, TAIWAN — When Typhoon Morakot hit Taiwan in early August, causing massive landslides in the southern part of the country, Israel, as soon as the extent of the destruction was known, sent Israeli-made water-purification equipment and high-speed water transport equipment to Taiwan.
The monster typhoon hit on August 8, causing widespread flooding in the south — the worst in over 50 years — and leading the death of over 700 people in remote villages in mountainous terrain. By August 13, Israel answered Taiwan’s call for help with a shipment of water-purification equipment, according to Raphael Gamzou, head of the Israeli Economic and Cultural Office, which serves as Israel de facto embassy in Taipei in the absence of formal diplomatic relations.
Gamzou proposed to Taiwanese officials that Israel could send emergency aid to the beleagured country, and it was agreed that clean drinking water was of paramount importance for the survivors of the severe floods and landslides. In due course, a shipment with water purifiers, containers, and hundreds of easy-to-use personal
water-purification kits was sent to rural villages struck by the disaster.
Sulis WaterSheer video:
The equipment, made by the Israeli company WaterSheer, was donated by Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, according to news reports. As soon as the equipment arrived in Taipei, in the northern part of the island nation, it was brought straight to Kaohsiung in the south, where Gamzou personally supervised the distribution of water to those in need.
As Taiwan recovers from the August disaster, it has been learned that over 24,000 people had to be evacuated from remote villages and rural towns, with some 5,000 evacuees housed in emergency temporary shelters. In addition to assistance from Israel, aid came in from around 60 other countries as well, gestures that the Taiwanese people
won’t soon forget.
“We are a small island nation, and in our moment of need, many countries helped us out,” said Lin Shu-lling, 30, a resident of Chiayi in southern Taiwan. “It makes us Taiwanese feel good that the rest of the world didn’t forget us, and not just big countries like America and Japan, but also smaller nations like Israel and Panama.”
Ron Shani runs WaterSheer from its office in Lod, Israel. Shani earlier spent 12 years with two of Israel’s premier IT computing software and services companies, but left the IT field in 2004 to return to his roots in water filtration and purification. He founded
WaterSheer in 2007.
By Danny Bloom, Guest blogger for Green Prophet.