TechnoPark’s efforts at IDA World Congress 2009

Published November 17th, 2009 - 10:03 GMT

 TechnoPark, the Economic Zones World subsidiary, extended its commitment to sustainable water and energy solutions with its strong support of the 1001 Wells Project in Darfur, a mega United Nations initiative by the Boston University Centre for Remote Sensing under the direction of Dr. Farouk El Baz, the Centre’s Director.

TechnoPark has brought together Boston University Centre for Remote Sensing, USA, and Dubai-based Concorde-Corodex Group, leading providers of water purification and wastewater treatment solutions, to augment the scope of the humanitarian initiative.

The Darfur 1001 Wells Project is an ambitious humanitarian initiative to provide access to water to thousands of Darfur refugees living under grave conditions, including acute scarcity of water. Water shortages are widely considered the cause of the humanitarian crisis in Darfur region of northwestern Sudan.

A Memorandum of Understanding has been signed by TechnoPark, the Boston University Centre for remote sensing and Concorde-Corodex Group on the sidelines of the IDA World Congress 2009.  Concorde-Corodex Group will donate a fully integrated mobile desalination plant, which normally costs about US$250,000, for the first well to be drilled in Darfur. The unit generates 100,000 litres of fresh water per day and has the potential to provide water for up to 4,000 refugees in the affected region.

Dr. Farouk Al Baz speaking about the agreement said: “This is a wonderful development which shows that companies in the desalination industry are clearly concerned with the provision of the clean and safe water to people worldwide and particularly a region suffering from such a scarcity.”

Boston University’s Centre for Remote Sensing is identifying the site for the 1001 wells to be drilled in northern Darfur as part of the project, and will ensure the proper functioning of the desalination plant and that engineers and technicians are well trained.

TechnoPark will co-ordinate the deployment of the desalination plant and ensure its successful initiation.

Hamad Al Hashemi, Managing Director of Dubai Institute of Technology - TechnoPark said: “We are very proud to have played a part in this initiative. IDA is funding the first well for this initiative as announced at the opening ceremony of the IDA World Congress 2009 and now Concorde-Cordex Group has pledged to build a desalination unit for it. I commend all parties involved for their strong support and compassionate donations which will go a long way in bringing about sustainable drinking water to affected areas in Darfur.”

Concorde-Corodex Group’s decision to donate a desalination unit and related support services to the project will enhance its momentum. The unit is a mobile container that desalinates brackish water and disinfects it for human use. The Dubai-based group will also supply the consumable chemicals and filters as well as train local technicians and engineers in the operation of the unit.

Firas Awad, General Manager, Concorde-Corodex Group, said: “Concorde-Corodex Group is a family owned business and we apply our strong family ethics to our business dealings as well. While we are a corporate entity, we are very committed to humanitarian initiatives. Water is the best gift of all. It is as good as the gift of life. We are proud to support TechnoPark and Boston University in this humanitarian mission."

Under the committed leadership of Dr. Farouk El Baz, who was presented the IDA World Water Masters Award at the IDA World Congress, scientists from Boston University’s Centre for Remote Sensing conducted extensive research, located and mapped the highest levels of an underground dry lake in northern Darfur.

Dr. El Baz led the initiative to launch the 1001 Wells Project and made several visits to the region. He met political leaders including the President of Sudan Omar Al Bashir, the Governor of Darfur, Osman Kebir as well as the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon to discuss the findings and to seek their support for the project.

The International Desalination Association has decided to name the first of the 1001 wells in Darfur after Dr. Farouk El Baz in recognition of his untiring efforts to implement the project.

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