Cash for work contributes to improved access to humanitarian services

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NFDHR: Adel Ohman- Translated by Ahmed Al-Shami - Wednesday, 24 October, 2018

Roads are the lifeline of any society; they facilitate movement for people and contribute to improving people’s lives and livelihoods especially when it comes to reaching education and healthcare.

In the rugged mountainous terrain, as certain areas in Al- Mahwit Governorate, people are in need of a good road. But in the midst of conflict and crisis, it is difficult for Yemen’s concerned authorities to cut, pave or asphalt a road, despite its small size.

For example, the sub-districts of Ghalibi Wa Rabi'ee and Al-Thari, which are located on the mountain slopes, are hard to reach. To travel back and forth from these areas, it can cost a lot of money, yet locals still have to find ways to access Ar-Rujum city for their shopping or health treatment. And recently, costs amounts have doubled with the inflation in gas prices and spare parts for cars.

Only four-wheel-drive SUVs have access to these areas, and they need constant maintenance, as their tires are frequently damaged due to the roughness of the road, the high altitude and abundance of rocks.

For this reason, the National Foundation for Development and Humanitarian Response (NFDHR) thought it necessary to find a way for locals to make money. As such, during the implementation of the Emergency Integrated Food, WASH and Health Interventions for the Affected Communities in Ar-Rujum District of Al Mahwit Governorate, NFDHR targeted 730 households through cash-for-work activities. This was done thanks to funding from the Yemen Humanitarian Fund.

The cash-for-work activities aimed to rehabilitate agricultural terraces, rainwater harvesting tanks and irrigation canals. However, NFDHR’s teams were keen on reviving the spirit of social solidarity, as well as encouraging and motivating community members to reform the roads after the completion of the daily cash-for-work program.

Mohammed Al-Mehairsi, one of the work group's supervisors, said that Azzan road was very rugged. Many cars could not pass through, and the people endured large sums of money to transport patients into Ar-Rujum City.

However, beneficiaries gathered and paved about 70 meters from the off-road locations. This area was a huge barrier to vehicular traffic, and therefore the repair of this road will improve access for beneficiaries to humanitarian services and delivery of food aid and relief.

Hussein Al -Mehairisi, who donated stones, said that two years ago he cut off two thousand stones to pave the way, but the circumstances of the people prevented it from happening until the Foundation came and encouraged the community to complete the road, which lasted for 16 days.

Azzan road is now serving a number of villages in Ghalibi Wa Rabi'ee, Al-Thari and Bani Al-Badi sub-districts.