Solar Energy Delivers Safe Water Across Yemen

UNICEF supports the solarization of water supply in Ibb and Al-Dale'e Governorates

UNICEF Yemen
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UNICEF/UN0615311/Al-Mashraqi
26 April 2022

Fuel prices have skyrocketed since the conflict escalated in Yemen, and as diesel-powered water pumps cease to operate, drought has begun to affect the entire country.

To reduce communities’ reliance on fuel and provide sustainable water to local communities, UNICEF supports the solarization of water supply in Ibb and Al-Dale'e Governorates.

Ibb: After Years of Suffering, a Dream Come True

“We would transport water from distant swamps on the backs of donkeys and heads of women and children, and this stagnant water was causing a lot of diseases,” recalls Nasser Ali Saleh Abad, 50, from the village of Amqah, Al-Nadra District, Ibb Governorate.

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UNICEF/UN0615314/Al-Mashraq
Nasser Ali Saleh Abad, 50, from the Village of Amqah, Al-Nadra District, Ibb governorate.

“Children and women would fetch water in the morning, while men collected water at night. Children were forced to miss school to go and fetch water, while men would leave their jobs and go to get water, so all their attention was focused on fetching water. Life was tiring”

With support from the UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO), UNICEF has implemented the solarization of six rural water projects in Yemen in 2021, benefiting over 19,000 people. For each project, UNICEF teams have provided and installed electric submersible pumps powered by a solar energy system. In total, over 700 solar panels are now helping to pump water to communities.

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UNICEF/UN0615322/Al-Mashraqi
Nawaf, 12, spends time every day fetching water on the back of his donkey from a far-away well.

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UNICEF/UN0615284/Al-Mashraqi
A pump used in the solarization project in Ibb governorate, Yemen.

“The pumps stopped due to high fuel prices, and this project brought life back to people who suffered so much in fetching water. Water now reaches homes in sufficient quantities,” says Issam Ali al-Hajj al-Kaldi, 34, from Beit Al-Suhaiki, Ibb Governorate.

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UNICEF/UN0615296/Al-Mashraqi
Yahya Mohsen Saleh Al-Gumaie, 50, Al-Nadra District, Ibb governorate, director of Omqah and other villages water project.

Yahya Mohsen Saleh Al-Gumaie, 50, from Ibb Governorate, directs water projects in Omqah and other villages.

“No one imagined the difficulty of the situation before this project,” he says. “The site was equipped with 224 solar panels to start pumping water. Yet, had UNICEF not intervened, many people would have been displaced from these villages. Now that we have water, we can dream of a health center, midwives, and gynecologists.”

Al Dhale'e: Easier Access to Safer Water

Abdo Saleh al-Awlaki, 46, from Al-Dale’e, shares the same difficulties as people all over the country.

 “We could not afford to buy water due to high fuel prices,” he remembers, “and transporting water ourselves occupied our minds and consumed our time, even when it was not drinkable. The situation changed after the project, and water became available in our homes at a lowest cost.”