Bringing Clean Water to Those Who Need It

Thursday, February 20, 2020
The new water pump supplies the villages 5,422 residents with more than 15 liters of water per day.

Yemen is suffering 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, including water and sanitation systems and health facilities. An estimated 17.8 million people lack access to safe water and sanitation.

Ghamdan, a high school graduate and father, works as an operator for the Al-Wajd Water Scheme Project in the Al Misrakh District of Ta’izz Governorate. Until the USAID Addressing WASH Services in Yemen activity implemented by CARE stepped in, the 5,422 residents of Al-Wajd lacked access to a clean water supply.

The village’s nearly-40-year-old water pump, which Ghamdan was responsible for operating and maintaining, was dilapidated.

“The pump was frequently malfunctioning, forcing us to stop the water for intermittent periods in order to do maintenance,” Ghamdan says. “During this time, people were deprived of water and often had to pay for water to be trucked in, which is very expensive.”

For families unable to afford the cost of water trucks, the burden of traveling long distances on foot or by donkey to fetch water – often from contaminated sources – fell to women and children, Ghamdan added.

Repairs and ongoing maintenance, combined with rising diesel costs, pushed the Al-Wajd Community Water Committee into bankruptcy. “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,” Ghamdan says. “We were living in a state of frustration and insecurity.”

Through the USAID Addressing WASH Services in Yemen activity, CARE installed a new water pump, serving the local community water utility. The new vertical pumping unit produces 216,000 liters per day, or enough water to supply the village’s 5,422 residents with more than 15 liters per day.

“The difference between our previous situation and now is clear and significant,” says Ghamdan. Instead of losing money spent on maintenance, the new pump has allowed for the recovery of operation and maintenance cost with a total income from bill collection and service fees reaching 300,000 Yemeni Riyals per month, or about $1,200.

The new water pump has brought a sense of security to Al-Wajd Water Scheme Project and the community, Ghamdan says, adding that the water scheme “seems it has been reborn again, and today it works constantly – helping to bring clean water to those who need it so much,” Ghamdan says.

Addressing WASH Services in Yemen is a three-year activity implemented by CARE that improves access to safe water and sanitation services for vulnerable populations in Yemen through rehabilitation of water supply systems and sewer networks, construction of public latrines, and promotion of hygiene awareness.

Last updated: May 26, 2020

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