Fuel Subsidies Mean Life

Ensured a daily supply of safe water for almost 2.5 million people across the country

UNICEF Yemen
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UNICEF/UN0610696/Al-Basha
23 March 2022

The conflict that has been going on for close to seven years in Yemen has interrupted fuel supply to people throughout the country, which, in turn, has hampered the delivery of safe water to families. To address the problem, UNICEF provides financial support to fuel supply so that water is available to communities in a sustainable way.

Between October and November 2021 for example, UNICEF covered 98.4% of the total diesel cost of operating water wells throughout Yemen by subsidizing 33 local water and sanitation institutions in 33 districts in 14 governorates with a total of over 4.5 million liters of diesel. This fuel support ensured a daily supply of safe water for almost 2.5 million people across the country.

Taizz: Where Water Means Serenity

Fathiah Mohammed, 40, and a mother of seven lives in Al-Mudhaffar District, Taizz Governorate.

 “We used to transport water from faraway places, 20 liters at a time, but that wasn’t enough for the family, so we would have to go back again, all day long. It was so stressful,” she remembers.

“But now the water reaches the tanks and reservoirs close by, and from there to the house”, she explains, in a relieved voice. “Now, water is available in bathrooms, pipes, and everywhere.”

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UNICEF/UN0610674/Al-Basha
Fathiah Mohammad lives in Al Mudhaffar district—Al Nusayria Al Wasta area, Taizz Governorate

UNICEF has provided fuel subsidies since 2018, and water is pumped from 22 wells in the city, 14 to 16 hours every day. Many areas have benefited from these wells, but others still suffer from water scarcity.

Hadramout: Thirst Finally Quenched

“Wells are powered by electricity, and in case of electricity cut-off or weakness, they are powered by fuel generators”, explains Omar Al Aidarous, 49, director of the Water Corporation, Tareem branch in Hadramout, south-eastern part of Yemen, which serves 130,000 beneficiaries.

“We have four fuel generators, and each generator consumes up to 150 liters of fuel per hour when running”, he adds, showing how strongly water supply relies on fuel.

Wells fill the main reservoir in Damon, about 4.2 kilometres north east of Tareem, and then water is distributed to four other reservoirs in separate neighborhoods in the city, from which water is distributed to homes in Tareem.

When the power is cut, pumps cannot run if there is no fuel.

“If the subsidies stop, we will have a big problem getting water to people”, Omar adds. “Now with UNICEF's support, we have been able to deliver water to every home in the city and its suburbs at all times,” he concludes.

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UNICEF/UN0598983/Ba Jubair
Omar Al Aidarous, director of the Water Corporation’s Tareem branch, with one of the workers at the water pump generator room, Tareem District, Hadramout Governorate