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Rebirth of a project

A room with machine

Yemen is the world’s worst ongoing humanitarian crisis, with 24.1 million Yemenis in need of humanitarian and protection assistance. Fighting has caused significant damage to essential infrastructure such as water and sanitation systems, and health facilities. A total of 17.8 million people lack access to safe water and sanitation

Ghamdan Farea is a 27-year-old father from Taiz. He is a high school graduate working as an operator for the Al-Wajd Water Scheme Project in Al Misrakh district. Ghamdan indicates a dilapidated water pump which he is responsible for operating and maintaining.

“This pump has been operating for nearly 38 years, which is the lifetime of the project. It started in 1982,” he says. “The pump was frequently malfunctioning, forcing us to stop the water for intermittent periods in order to do maintenance. During this time people were deprived of water and were experiencing difficulties as they often had to pay for water trucks which are very expensive.”

A machine in a room
Al-Wajd Water Scheme Project before the intervention

He continues: “And as for those who were unable to pay for water trucks – women and children are the ones who had to travel long distances to fetch water from distant sources, carrying the water bottles above their heads and on the backs of donkeys. This water could even be contaminated, causing diarrhoea and diseases.

“We used to spend a lot of money repairing and maintaining the pump repeatedly, until we reached the point where it was no longer worthwhile to maintain it. The diesel spending was increasing year after year, and the project was not making any income, which ultimately led to bankruptcy. We were living in a state of frustration and insecurity.”

Thankfully for Al-Wajd Water Scheme Project and the communities it serves, CARE intervened with its H2O project funded by the US Agency for International Development. The H2O project is focusing on the most vulnerable internally displaced and host community households in nine districts of Sana’a and Taiz governorates. CARE was able to supply and install a new pumping unit, and replace the old one, which saved the project from collapsing.

“The difference between our previous situation and now is clear and significant,” says Ghamdan. “The new pump avoided the amounts that were spent in maintenance. I’m thrilled that the total income of the project reached 300,000 Yemeni Riyals per month.”

“This intervention offers security and the continuation of the project. It seems it has been reborn again, and today it works constantly – helping to bring clean water to those who need it so much.”

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