Yemen: Wash Cluster Impact of blockade

Situation Report
Originally published



  • A continued blockade could potentially impact 16.7 million people depending on public water networks and commercial water due to lack of fuel

  • An estimated 4.8 million litres of diesel per month is required to operate public water systems

  • Prices of commercially trucked water are increasing, resulting in pressure on household expenditure and other negative coping strategies

Potential impact of the blockade on water and sanitation services in Yemen

As a result of the closure of all air and seaports by the Saudi-led coalition, fuel prices in Yemen are spiking and fuel supplies are rapidly being depleted, which has a direct impact on the availability of water across the country. While sea and airports in areas under the control of the Government of Yemen have re-opened, these ports lack the infrastructure capacity required for the high volumes of commercial and humanitarian cargo previously handled by Al Hudaydah and Saleef. The re-opening of Aden airport has allowed some humanitarian flights to land, but services to other parts of the country are still blocked.

The continued closure of some sea and air ports by the SLC will push Yemen to a further catastrophic humanitarian situation and the impact on water and sanitation servicesin Yemen can already be seen.
Failing water and sanitation services in the last years have contributed to one of the world’s worst cholera outbreaks in modern history. If these services collapse further, it is expected that another wave of cholera cases will affect the country in the nearby future.

Shortage of fuel

Representatives from the largest fuel importing companies in Yemen have indicated that they no longer will be able to supply the consumer market with fuel starting November 21st, 2017. WFP is estimating (based on information from Yemen Petroleum Company) that approximately 16 days of diesel and 7 days of petrol is available in northern parts of the country. Based on these estimates, which assume normal purchasing patterns, commercial petrol stockpiles would be depleted by November 22nd and diesel stockpiles by December 2 nd . However, current purchasing patterns by individuals and business are far from normal, which makes it challenging to predict when different areas will run out of fuel. This will depend on what rationing steps individual traders implement and how stockpiles of fuel that could have been built up by non-commercial actors, could re-enter the market.