Water: The essential lifeline

As the COVID-19 pandemic unfolds across the country, access to clean water is as important as ever for ensuring families can protect their health

UNICEF Yemen
displaced girl in yemen
UNICEF Yemen/2020
19 May 2020

Nearly 18 million people are in need of water support across Yemen. Years of conflict, an economic crisis and water scarcity exacerbated by climate change, have meant too many communities do not have reliable access to the water they need to survive.

Now, as the COVID-19 pandemic unfolds across the country, access to clean water is as important as ever for ensuring families can protect their health.

The community of Al-Ghaydah struggled for many years to have a reliable water supply. Their water system relied heavily on fuel to run. With increase fuel prices and unsustainable supplies, their access remained precarious. With an influx of displaced people, the drain on water resources increased.

“There are 120,000 people in the city of Al-Ghaydah and its environs, which has caused us extraordinary pressure to produce (water) the last two years from 2017-2019. We moved from the productivity of 3500 to 7000 cubic meters per day, which means 7 million litres per day,” says Adel Abdo Moneim, who is the Technical Engineer and Director of the Water Corporation in Al-Ghaydah.

UNICEF WASH interventions in IDP's centers
UNICEF Yemen/2020
The new water system is tested in Al-Ghaydah

UNICEF with support from the Qatar Fund, intervened, rehabilitating the water system and setting up solar power to ensure sustainable pumping.

There was not enough water to reach every family in need. So UNICEF with support from the Qatar Fund, intervened, rehabilitating the water system and setting up solar power to ensure sustainable pumping.

“After completing the solar energy project that we see around us, we are optimistic,” says Habib Ali Shouan, a member of the nearby community who now benefits from the new system.

The large-scale solar power project will help give power to the water system providing water to 120,000 people
UNICEF Yemen/2020
The large-scale solar power project will help give power to the water system providing water to 120,000 people

“It gave us something new for the wells to pump water continuously, even if the electricity is cut off, we do not feel the interruption as before. Thank God, it is improving now, and, God willing, we hope for more water management and organizations that support these projects to continue to present them,” he adds.

The large-scale solar power project will help give power to the water system providing water to 120,000 people
UNICEF Yemen/2020
The large-scale solar power project will help give power to the water system providing water to 120,000 people

The Qatar Fund for International Development is a vital partner, facilitating innovative WASH programmes across the country. With their help, UNICEF is able to provide safe and sustainable water to millions of people.