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UNICEF scales up WASH interventions for children affected by natural disasters in Al-Mahara governorate, Yemen

Children have been displaced since the Cyclone Luban hit their villages in October last year. They are now living with their families in Ais Al-Masila collective centre, in Al-Mahara governorate.

By Ali Qasem Ali, Communication Officer, UNICEF Aden Field Office

Al-Mahara, Yemen, 15 March 2019 – In Yemen, 80 per cent of the population is in need of urgent humanitarian aid and over 11 million children are suffering the consequences of the four-year long crisis, paying the heavy price in this man-made conflict.

As if this was not enough for the children in Yemen, the country was hit by “Luban” cyclone which battered the country’s eastern shores in October 2018. Heavy rainfalls, destructive landslides and floods affected the lives of thousands of people in Al-Mahara governorate. The families lost their properties, land and livestock in this natural disaster, which forced more than 2,000 households to leave their homes.

UNICEF responded immediately to provide water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) services to assist and support these displaced people who had lost everything in a blink of an eye. Today, a total of 95 displaced families hosted in Ais Al-Masila collective centre have access to clean water 24 hours a day, made possible by connecting the centre to the local water network. In addition, UNICEF has built 30 temporary latrines and connected them to a modern sanitation system to ensure a healthy environment and keep the children and their caregivers safe from any water-borne diseases.

Rabeah Haider, 35 years old, is a mother of 7 children (4 boys and 3 girls). “Our house was totally destroyed by the floods. Nobody could help us and we couldn’t find a shelter, so we were forced to live in a school for two months. The living conditions were so harsh, there was no access to water or healthcare. But when we moved to the Ais centre, we found that the situation is better, as water and sanitation services are available,” she says.

A view from Ais Al-Masila centre where UNICEF provides families affected by Luban cyclone with water and sanitation services.

A group of temporary latrines and water tanks installed by UNICEF in the Ais centre, with the support of the German Development Bank KfW.

Women do not have to spend a lot of time to fetch water to cook or wash clothes anymore now they can go to the water point in the centre.

To see children smiling again is one of the main reasons for UNICEF to pursue its humanitarian response, so they can have a right to a normal childhood.

These services have been provided with contribution from of one of UNICEF’s long-term partner, the German Development Bank KfW, which remains committed to help the people of Yemen, through lifesaving water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) interventions. 



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