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Providing vital lifelines for vulnerable families in Ibb

A man with a white robe

Fuad, a 42-year-old father of three children from Baradan village

Fuad, a 42-year-old father of three children from Baradan village

The ongoing armed conflict in Yemen has led to thousands of deaths and the destruction of vital infrastructures like water and sewage systems, schools, health facilities and roads. The protracted conflict and the deepening economic crisis have significantly impacted the already fragile public services in Yemen. Basic needs, such as water, sanitation, health and education services, have been seriously debilitated. Only half of the health facilities and two-thirds of schools are currently functioning. Water infrastructure is operating at less than 5% efficiency. Roads are either closed or damaged, thus hampering a fluid movement of basic goods in local markets.

The struggle for water

Yemen is one of the most water-scarce countries in the world. In fact, people struggle to have access to safe drinking water. The implication of the conflict, the severity of drought and climate change, further deplete water supply at an accelerated pace. Over 15.4 million people require support to access their basic water and sanitation needs.

Water fetching is a burden that often falls on women and children, exposing them to many physical injuries and hazards. When water infrastructure is inadequate, the human body becomes part of the water delivery service. “In my village, many women have lost their babies because of carrying heavy jerry cans and walking long distances,” says Fuad, a 42-year-old father of three children from Baradan village in Al Udyan district of Ibb governorate. “My female neighbours walk for nearly four hours every day carrying  a 340-ounce jerry can.”

Like Baradan village, the majority of Yemen’s areas suffer from clean drinking water scarcity.  49% of Yemenis have no access to an improved water source, and almost 50% of Yemenis report issues relating to the taste, appearance or smell of their water source. Moreover, when the water wells are far from home, water-dependent chores like washing clothes or utensils are usually done at the well site, causing women to remain outdoors for a longer period of time. Multi-tasking with children and domestic duties in these conditions can be a real challenge for mothers.

“We used to consume unclean drinking water,” says Fuad. “This has caused kidney failure for many residents here.”

Unpaved roads exacerbate families’ suffering

Khasalah village in Al Udayn district is one of the poorest regions in Ibb governorate. The bumpy roads in the village have caused countless hardships for its residents. Some roads are blocked or have ripples, causing accidents that led to tragic losses of lives. Unpaved roads restrict access to basic needs such as health, food and education. It also hampers employment opportunities.

45-year-old Ameen lives in Khasalah village with his wife and six children. He works for daily wages to provide for his family. The economic collapse, combined with unpaved roads and fuel shortage, have immensely increased the prices of basic food items like wheat and vegetables. Ameen cannot secure three meals a day for his family.

“We only eat twice a day,” says Ameen. “I can’t afford enough food for my family. Sometimes my children eat one type of food for months because I can’t buy different types of vegetables and fruits.”

A man with a red and white headscarf smiling
Ameen, a 45-year-old father of six children from Khasalah village

People of Khasalah village used to carry patients and pregnant women in need of urgent medical care in coffins in case they didn’t survive the long road to the nearest health facility, which is only one hour away from the village. “My wife had severe bleeding while she was pregnant. I had to carry her on my back and walk to the health facility. As a result, my wife had uterine prolapse, and she won’t be able to get pregnant again,” Ameen says sadly.

To address these obstacles, CARE, with funding from Yemen Humanitarian Fund (YHF), is rehabilitating the water scheme in Baradan village, and providing clean and safe water for 90 households there. CARE has also supported the residents of  Khasalah to pave the road in their village and earn income to buy essentials for their families.

“Thanks to CARE, water is available now,” says Fuad. “Children and women – especially pregnant mothers – no longer face the risks of fetching water from faraway places. Now women have time to take care of themselves and their families.”

“Every aspect of our lives that requires transportation became easier after paving the road, particularly helping patients get the urgent care they need,” says Amen. “As our challenges were eased, we also became less anxious and even started to enjoy our free time. I hope CARE continues to support vital lifelines for people in the forgotten areas,” he concludes.

A man riding a motorcycle on a curvy road, surrounded by lush green trees and a clear blue sky.
The newly paved road in Khasalah village
A stone wall with orange and white bricks
The rehabilitated water scheme in Baradan village provides safe water for residents and eases their suffering
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