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Responding to disaster and rebuilding trust

Two men in a bulldozer

A bulldozer removing rubble from the road

A bulldozer removing rubble from the road

During April 2020, Yemen experienced heavy rains that triggered flash floods in different areas of the country. The floods caused damage to infrastructure as well as human injuries and even deaths. A tropical storm also hit the country’s southern coast, mostly impacting Aden and Lahj governorates. All of Aden’s districts were affected, but Seera and Almua’ala districts witnessed the largest destruction.

Hundreds of families lost their homes, food rations and household supplies. Roads were destroyed, and basic services like water and electricity were cut for days after the catastrophe. This resulted in acute needs for food, clean water, sanitation and hygiene.

Yasser Ali Omer, 28 years old, is an active community member who volunteers to help affected families. “Many houses, cars and roads were destroyed in my neighbourhood,” says Yasser as he removes the rubble. “During the flood, we could barely walk down the street. It was impossible to drive a car to transport the wounded and afflicted individuals. The condition was horrible.”

Affected communities found themselves unprepared to react. They were left to face armed conflict as well as floods, waterborne diseases and the spreading of the new COVID-19 disease. Due to the floods, livelihood assets were lost, causing more pressure on the already poor families. Roads were ruined, meaning that water trucks couldn’t deliver drinking water, and affected families couldn’t reach vital supplies. In some areas, donkeys were the only way to transport water and other supplies.

To address the flood-affected families’ urgent needs, CARE, with funding from START Fund, launched an emergency response in affected areas. With the help of local authorities in Aden, the bulldozers immediately removed tons of rubble and waste to ease the movement of people and goods.

A woman holding a bundle of money
A female beneficiary receiving cash assistance in Almua’ala district

The intervention allowed families to buy lifesaving items like food and water. “Responding to such a disaster is beyond our local capacity,” says a governmental field officer. “At first, the response was weak, but with the help of CARE, who responded rapidly to our appeal, the situation improved. This project helped us rebuild trust with local communities.”

Through the project, 761 flood-affected families in Crater and Almua’ala districts of Aden received cash assistance of 65,000 Yemeni Rials per household to buy essentials and help them to repair their damaged houses.

A construction area
Residents of the neighbourhood watching a bulldozer reopening a narrow street
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