An emergency convoy of lorries carrying donated flood equipment, including pumps and temporary barriers has today left the UK for Ukraine, following the destruction of the Nova Kakhovka dam in the Kherson region last week.
Equipment donated by the Environment Agency will offer a significant capability to pump water out of flooded areas and protect from further flooding in Southern Ukraine. Alongside, the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office is leading a major relief programme in the area following the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Ukraine and considerable amounts of flood water causing danger to life.
Donated equipment includes three high volume pumps, six mobile pumps that can be used to pump water out of affected areas, and 15km of temporary barriers, which can be used to deflect water and protect critical infrastructure. Environment Agency high volume pumps have the capacity to remove 1750 litres per second from affected sites.
The UK government has moved quickly to bolster its support to Ukraine as it deals with severe flooding from the dam breach, which is expected to last for weeks and leave many in need of food, water, and basic supplies. Flooding from the destruction of the Nova Kakhovka dam is having an untold impact on over 42,000 people in the Kherson area. The floods have submerged an estimated 100,000 hectares of agricultural area, important for grain and oil seed production, and vital for maintaining supplies to the global South. This compounds an already dire situation, as so much of Ukraine’s agricultural land has been mined and destroyed as part of Russia’s barbaric invasion of Ukraine.
Earlier this week, an additional convoy of life-saving equipment set off from Ashford in Kent, organised by the Home Office, the National Fire Chiefs’ Council and supported by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency.
The convoy, which left from Kent Fire and Rescue Service, included 19 rescue boats and more than 2,000 items of flood recovery equipment including helmets, life jackets, throw lines and pumps. It is expected to arrive in L’viv, Ukraine, in the coming days.
Today’s deployment follows the announcement on 10 June that the UK government is giving an extra £16million in humanitarian support as Ukraine deals with the aftermath of the destruction of the Nova Kakhova dam. This builds on our existing humanitarian support of £220 million which is allowing partners, such as the Ukraine Red Cross, to help evacuate civilians affected by the flooding.
Alongside this the UK-led Partnership Fund for a Resilient Ukraine has already delivered two specialist rescue boats, search and rescue equipment, and trauma medicine to Kherson to assist the ongoing rescue operations by the State Emergency Services.
Environment Agency Chief Executive, John Curtin said:
“The images coming from Kherson following the devastation around the Nova Kakovka Dam are heart-breaking. We can only begin to imagine the impact on communities of this flooding. We stand ready to do whatever we can to help our Ukrainian colleagues save lives and support their recovery efforts.
“The equipment we have sent includes large pumps that will have a real effect on removing flood water from affected areas and our barriers can help protect critical sites like hospitals and schools from further floods.”
Environment Secretary, Thérèse Coffey said:
“I am pleased we are sending pumps, boats and other equipment to help the humanitarian response to the dam destruction devastation causing flooding and driving Ukrainians out of their homes and villages.”
Minister for Crime, Policing and Fire, Chris Philp said:
“This donation is a testament to our ongoing support of Ukrainian services and aid organisations, which are in desperate need of equipment following the destruction of the Nova Kakhovka dam.
“I am immensely proud that we are once again supporting the recovery efforts in Ukraine by donating a further convoy of life-saving equipment, including 19 rescue boats.”
This aid package is part of the UK’s total support for Ukraine which so far totals £1.5 billion in economic and humanitarian support, which has paid for the delivery of more than 11 million medical items as well as food supplies, ambulances, and shelter kits. Additionally, we are providing military support in the form of air defence missiles and training for Ukrainian recruits and pilots.
The Prime Minister has met with President Zelenskyy in Moldova, Hiroshima and Chequers to discuss how best the UK will continue to support Ukraine against Russia’s aggression.
The UK is also set to host the Ukraine Recovery Conference later this month, which will bring together governments and industry leaders to develop a concerted multi-sector plan to help Ukraine to recover from Russia’s illegal invasion.