UNICEF and German Development Bank (KfW) Help bring water closer to communities in Al Hazm City
Provide water to households and services all over the Al Hazm area
Even before the ongoing conflict borke out in 2015, only half of the population of Yemen had regular access to a safe water supply. After over 8 years of hostilities, Yemen, one of the most water-scarce countries in the world, found itself on the brink of a humanitarian catastrophe.
The crisis in areas like Al Hazm district intensified, particularly as it became one of the main destinations for internally displaced people who fled from military hostilities in their cities and villages all over Yemen.
Lack of clean water poses a grave threat to agriculture in the country, which already has to import about 80% of its food supplies. Access to clean water is especially critical to preventing waterborne diseases, such as cholera, from spreading further in densely-populated areas like Al Hazm District.
"I have a family of 12. There were more of us, but some died due to severe conditions and disease," says Qasim Abdullah Hamam, who was displaced from Maswarah and now lives with his family in one of the IDP camps in Al Hazm district. "Here we finally found kind people who help us and also found clean water. We are so grateful to organizations like UNICEF and those who support them."
Before UNICEF implemented the water project in Al Hazm, the local water supply system contained five water boreholes, which provided water to 1,000 households. It left about 60% of the Al Hazm population without a stable water supply, forcing families to get water from trucking services.
"People had to pay about 5000 R.Y. ($10) for just one cubic meter of water when they bought it from those water trucks," says Engineer Zyad Yahya Al Somini, a facilitator for the UNICEF water project in Al Jawf governorate, where Al Hazm is located. "This project will provide water to Al Hazm residents and the displaced people who found shelter in the area."
"This project includes the construction of 54 linear kilometers of water networks and a tower tank with a capacity of 200 cubic meters,”
"In addition, the fact that the water supply station network will be powered by sustainable solar energy will make it immune to the constantly growing prices of diesel fuel and the inability of the General Organization in Al-Jawf to provide fuel for the station," adds Engineer Al Somini. "This network will provide over 20,000 people with water for about 250 YR (less than $0,5) per cubic meter. It will make a huge difference for the local households as well as the economy of the whole governorate."
Indeed, until now, the shortage of clean water and the high costs of the water delivered by trucks have become a tremendous financial burden for local families, which is why many children have had to give up on their education to help their families.
The lack of water also inevitably leads to the spread of infectious diseases, which increases the pressure on the area’s healthcare services, already weakened by economic instability, conflict, and the influx of internally displaced people from all over Yemen.
"Because this project will provide water to households and services all over the Al Hazm area, it will help improve the city’s infrastructure and restore the balance of population," – continues Yahya Wathab, the contractor of the project. "Because of the scarcity of water, people are forced to crowd the city. Now, with the help of UNICEF and KfW, as well as the effort of the Local Water and Sanitation Corporation in Al Hazm, we will manage to stabilize the situation."
"People here suffer from heat, hunger, and disease, and they live in fear,"
"If this project was not implemented, we would continue suffering, who knows for how long."
"This project not only save us a lot of effort, it also saves our lives", “We thank UNICEF, KfW, and all other donors who made it possible!"