Canadian charity Lifewater supplies Ukraine

A Canadian charity that provides drinking water to developing countries is interested in the plight of refugees fleeing war in Ukraine.

Lifewater Canada has partnered with a group in Poland that truck water and other necessities to Ukraine.

Lifewater volunteer Coleton Nickol left for Krakow, Poland on Tuesday, where he will join a team of aid workers helping refugees fleeing war in Ukraine.

“We are already in contact with locals who are working to bring refugees from the Ukrainian border and from Ukraine itself, driving a few buses a day from the border, to their settlement and also driving a large truck in Ukraine with supplies, then pulling out refugees every day,” Nickol said.

“They work non-stop, they said they sleep three to four hours a night because there is so much work, so they wanted help with that. So we just come to lend a hand from all possible ways to help with this program.

At the same time, Nickol will oversee the purchase of bulk water supplies for distribution to refugees fleeing war. Every day, many of the tens of thousands of refugees fleeing the carnage in Ukraine end up at the Polish border, starving and dehydrated.

“We will end up buying quite a lot of bottled water which will be sent directly to Ukraine. Basically anything we get our hands on while we’re at it,” Nickol said.

“So we are trying to set up a wholesale supplier of water, so that we can send it to Ukraine.”

The group Nickol will work with in Poland is made up of expatriate Ukrainians who fled Crimea after the Russian invasion in 2014.

They help refugees inside Ukraine to get out of the country and find safe refuge in Poland.

“I expect it to be difficult. Lots of needs and hopefully lots of gaps that I can fill,” Nickol said.

“It will be about packing trucks, loading trucks, unloading trucks, helping refugees to be sorted to where they need to go and helping in any way possible. It might even mean cleaning the toilets, but that’s okay.”

Prior to the war in Ukraine, Lifewater focused its efforts on providing drinking water to people in Haiti and rural Africa – in Kenya, Liberia and Nigeria.

One of the group’s main donors approached the fund, asking if it could help refugees in Ukraine. This philanthropist matched donations up to $20,000, an amount the charity quickly exceeded. He has currently raised nearly $80,000 for his Ukraine Water Emergency Fund and continues to receive donations.

More information can be found on the agency’s website.

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