But on one condition — the solution must involve solar energy. All institutions are eligible for the prize, not just those located in the UAE.
The Sheikh Mohammed made the announcement recently
at a reception for supporters and contributors to the UAE Water Aid campaign
at Za’beel Palace, Dubai, in the presence of UAE rulers, royalty and government representatives.
The Sheikh Mohammed also tweeted the news:
Today we launched a USD 1M prize to find sustainable & innovative solutions to purify & desalinate water using solar power #UAEWaterAid— HH Sheikh Mohammed (@HHShkMohd) July 15, 2014
The World Health Organisation estimates
1.6 million people die every year from diarrhoeal diseases (including cholera) attributable to lack of access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation and 90 percent of these are children under 5, mostly in developing countries.
The UAE Water Aid
campaign supports research to enhance the production of clean water for millions around the world, and has already assisted with the drilling of hundreds of wells in numerous nations, including Tanzania, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, northern Iraq, Syrian refugees camps in Erbil, Niger, Togo and Ghana.
The campaign achieves its objectives by working in cooperation with the UAE Red Crescent, key humanitarian and charitable associations, private sector institutions and media outlets in the UAE, as well as by partnering with various organisations in the beneficiary countries. And has collected more than $180 million AED in donations within UAE in just 18 days.
At the reception, as reported by WAM Emirates News Agency, the Sheikh Mohammed said
We are working on searching for durable and radical solutions to the problem of water scarcity using solar energy in the process of purification and desalination of water in needy areas around the world. Therefore, we invite all research institutions around the world to participate in a competition of $1 million to be awarded to people who can find sustainable, cheap and innovative solutions.
Water is the spirit of life and providing it for the needy is reviving millions of people. UAE Water Foundation will not differentiate between one person and another, so are all of our humanitarian works; such is the UAE humanitarian mission that lies in helping the afflicted, the needy and disadvantaged people all over the world without any distinction.
The $1 million prize represents the Sheikh Mohammed’s own personal donation. Each year he makes a generous humanitarian and societal gesture on the first day of the holy month of Ramadan.