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English information
Legal notice

The following informations are from the the official THW-website and can be found at:

English information
About Us

THW (Technisches Hilfswerk) is the Governmental disaster relief organizationof the Federal Republic of Germany. Its statutory tasks include the provision oftechnical assistance at home and humanitarian aid abroad.

Today, more than 40,000 volunteer technicians, engineers and specialists inother fields, as well as roughly 850 full-time employees, work for the federalTHW organisation. Together, they form the foundation of the qualified technicalassistance provided at home and abroad. The THW has 6,000 vehicles of varioustypes at its disposal.

The diversity of its units reflect THW's range of operations. For example, thereare Technical Groups on the local level which focus on recovery, clearing,electricity supply, water damage/ pumps, management/ communication,bridge-building, infrastructure, water hazards, location, logistics, drinkingwater supply and oil damage and last but not least the special unit SEEBA.
English information
Our profile

THW (Technisches HilfsWerk) is the official disaster relief organisation of the Federal Republic of Germany. Providing technical assistance in emergency situations is the general nature of our work. We offer expert solutions for typical requirements in refugee situations, natural disasters and other complex emergencies.

Our unique approach of having several thousand German experts on call to volunteer for missions abroad offers cost effective knowledge input for our relief interventions. Project teams typically consist of a number of volunteer experts and are run by professional Project Managers. Local labour and expertise is utilised whenever possible. Our equipment stores in Nairobi and in Germany hold appropriate technology for such relief operations.

THW is an official agency of the German government. It can therefore rely on an existing administrative structure, minimising the need for overhead funding.

The German government regularly commissions us for providing humanitarian relief on behalf of the Federal Republic of Germany. However, external donors increasingly co-operate with THW as an implementing partner. We have worked successfully for intergovernmental donors like the European Commission or the United Nations as well as for individual governments and private donors.

Being subjected to a stringent financial controlling within the German government, THW easily presents a solid, transparent financial structure and readily complies with the strictest financial guidelines.
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Our expertise

THW can rapidly set up Water Suplies in refugee situations, after natural disasters and other incidents. Surface waters are processed by advanced water purification set-ups, alternatively THW has extensive expertise for the rehabilitation of bore-holes and, if necessary, their drilling. By applying appropriate delivery technology we can provide up to several million litres of pure drinking water per day. Mobile laboratories secure high quality standards.

Road transport of relief goods is a common necessity in complex emergencies. THW consequently offers road repair as well as new construction. Where necessary, appropriate bridges are built.

Quick creation of proper housing in refugee situations or following natural disasters is part of the capabilities of THW. Together with our expertise in providing water, electricity and sanitation, complete solutions are available.

Our considerable expertise in constructing sanitation systems completes the portfolio of THW infrastructural capabilities. Sewage management is supported by our laboratory facilities.

In addition to immediate technical relief we have comprehensive consulting expertise at our disposal. Owing to our extensive human resources virtually every technical field can be covered. In complex emergencies THW provides consulting on relief strategies. Our consultants have become respected and commercially independent partners for international organisations and governments.

Our considerable experience in handling emergency situations lets us smoothly set up logistical management structures to run air- and sea ports, transport-, refuse handling- or distribution services.
English information

Official functions
The functions of THW are defined in a Federal law.

These functions consist in providing technical relief in the sectors of civil defence, disaster relief and international humanitarian assistance.

The main fields of activity are rescue, salvage and rehabilitation of infrastructure (water, electricity, sewage).

Under the direction of THW-headquarters
  • 8 offices of state commissioners
  • 66 regional commissioners
  • 665 local sections with voluntary local commissioners
form the organizational structure of THW.

There are more than 44,000 active voluntary members, 17,000 reserve volunteers and 10,000 junior volunteers.
English information
Units and equipment

EquipmentThroughout the Federal Republic THW maintains 810 technical platoons, each with 40 volunteers. Each platoon consists of one command squad with 4 volunteers and three special sections with 12 volunteers.

These types of special sections are provided by THW in following numbers:

  • 1,620 rescue and salvage
  • 264 general infrastructure
  • 132 debris clearance
  • 132 boat and pontoon
  • 66 electric supply
  • 66 pumping and sewage
  • 66 search and detection
  • 66 command, control and communication
  • 66 logistics
  • 32 water supply and treatment
  • 16 temporary bridge construction
  • 16 oil pollution
  • 6 sections for the Rapid Deployment Unit Search and Rescue

Each unit is provided with the particular equipment it needs as i.e. emergency tenders, tool and gear carriers with special equipment and material, personnel transporters, trucks, emergency power generators, water treatment plants, trailers (e.g. for equipment), cranes, multipurpose bulldozers and boats. In total over 6.000 vehicles are of the disposal of THW.
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