UN-Habitat and partners in WASH project in Yemen

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UN-Habitat, in close collaboration with the Government of Japan and local authorities, has been working on the emergency response to the immediate Shelter and Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) needs in Al Hudaydah Governorate, Yemen. This project is to mitigate the impact of conflict and improve the living conditions of the most affected population including Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), women, children, elderly, and disabled persons. With an aim of providing dignified, safe, clean access to WASH facilities for IDP families in displaced sites, as well as rehabilitating houses suffered significant damages from the airstrike and/or armed conflict for the vulnerable households. This project is envisaged to prevent outbreak of Cholera and other potential diseases and provide safe shelters for the local residents, who stayed in the governorate.

UN-Habitat started this project in early 2019 by assessing five IDP sites for urgent water and sanitation needs for most vulnerable people and developing an action plan to prevent spread of Cholera and other potential diseases. Then, the total of 63 units of hygienic public pit latrines were constructed in the IDP sites in Al Khawkha and Al Tuhayta to target 1,701 individuals. After the damage assessment of buildings and housing units, rehabilitation of 30 housing units was also started in Al Qataba to support the most vulnerable families, mainly the women-headed households. The total of 110 housing units are planned to be rehabilitated by the end of March 2020.

The ongoing conflict in Yemen has affected lives of 22.2 million people, and Al Hudaydah, the main city of the Governorate, has been a focus of fighting due to its geographical location and main port in the country. About 47,000 households (around 282,000 individuals) have been displaced only in the Governorate and some 162,000 suspected cases of cholera have been identified in Al Hudaydah since April 2017, equating to 15 per cent of Yemen’s total cholera caseload. Therefore, UN-Habitat, together with the Government of Japan, stands ready to continue supporting the local authorities in Al Hudaydah in order to provide better living environment for the most vulnerable population in the Governorate.