Yemeni-German Technical Cooperation - Water Sector Program


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NEWS - May 2012
A Glimmer of Hope
Supporting Abyan IDPs in the Governorate of Lahej

Due to the ongoing crisis, the situation in Abyan is deteriorating rapidly. Each day, hundreds of sad stories can be told about people living in the governorate of Abyan. Hundreds of families are suffering from the consequences of the crisis. Many of them are forced to leave their houses and escape from the fierce fighting that destroyed their homes, hampered and often even threatens their life. Besides the above mentioned challenges, the internally displaced persons (IDP) are facing a difficult daily life struggling hard to cover their basics needs, important services , one of them the supply with clean water, the source of life. Therefore, many people from Abyan escaped to other neighboring’ governorates searching for a better life, peace, safety and a future for their families and themselves. There is an estimated number of 22,786 IDPs from Abyan who moved to Lahej . They are housed in schools which are mostly lacking any kind of basics services. The schools are overcrowded, there is no access to clean drinking water, the sanitation facilities are either missing completely or are dirty, destroyed and not functioning properly. Due to stagnant swamps at the school yards are covered by insects and mosquitoes. Intervention has become necessary to meet the urgent needs of the IDP families.

After a rapid assessment of the humanitarian situation and the living conditions of the IDPs which are in urgent need for support on water and sanitation supply, the Water Basin Committee of Lahej in coordination with the National Water Resources Authority NWRA and the support of the Yemeni German Water Sector Program of GIZ started on the 1/3/2012 to provide 243 families in 9 schools in Tuban- Lahj with basic services, first and foremost with drinking water . In order not to affect the daily education schedules the interventions have been also coordinated with the Ministry of Education.

The emergency measures include the supply with water tanks, pumps, sanitation works (wiring, opening of ducts and manholes, cleaning and removal of trees, suction of stagnant swamps at the school yards), cleaning of existing sanitation facilities, distribution of spare parts and of clay filters to clean water for drinking as well as mosquito nets.

As part of the intervention the IDPs participated actively in the implementation of the emergency measures in cleaning sanitation facilities, school yards and the surrounding of the buildings they stay in. Coordinators from the IDPs were assigned to follow up the regular cleaning campaigns after the intervention. The preparation of an awareness raising program in coordination with component 2 of the WSP is ongoing aiming to increase hygiene awareness, the use of filters and water conservation. All interventions are planned and implemented in a sustainable and long term vision so that at a later stage, when the IDPs will have been able to return to their homes, the schools can benefit from the interventions which will be followed up in coordination with the GIZ educational program.

Mr. Mohammed Al-Akrabi, the coordinator of the NWRA management unit and the Technical Secretariat of Abyan WBC was supervising and coordinationg all above mentioned interventions. Thanks to his great commitment and efforts the interventions have been a big success and improved the difficult situation of many IDP families who emphasized their appreciation and gratitude for the support.

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