The Yemeni government will start building desalination plants on an urgent basis to address water problems in the governorates of Taez and Aden, Yemeni President Abdrabbou Mansour Hadi announced on August 25.
During a meeting with Minister of Environment and Water Abdo Saleh Razzaz, Hadi also called on the government to find immediate solutions to the severe sanitation problems in Al Hadida governorate.
He ordered that funds be allocated to expand desalination and water treatment plants. Among the planned projects is a desalination plant in the capital city, Sana’a.
The new projects were announced in the wake of growing complaints from residents about water shortages in Taez and Aden.
Earlier this month, the Yemeni Ministry of Water and Environment declared that the city of Taez was facing “a serious water crisis” that has been building for four decades.
The city’s problems are exacerbated by recurrent power cuts, incursions on wells and sabotage of water facilities by rebels.
Taez has 64 wells producing only 9,000 cubic meters a day. Desalination is the only solution left to increase supply, officials said.
But the cash-strapped Yemeni government needs foreign aid to solve its water and sanitation problems.
Taez needs $180 million USD to implement desalination projects. Saudi Arabia has previously pledged to help construct such facilities.
The US Agency for International Aid (USAID) last year allocated $118 million USD to address the water and sanitation situation in the country.
A conference held by Friends of Yemen last year approved $4 billion USD for humanitarian efforts in select Yemeni governorates, as well as to prevent economic collapse in the country. However, few funds have been transferred so far, according to officials.
This story is brought to readers free in association with Singapore International Water Week.