Yemeni Minister: Houthi Landmines, Snipers Inhibit Infrastructure Recovery Projects
In Yemen, infrastructure is a determining factor for the accessibility of commercial and aid trucks on which the local population, traders and government currently survive.
Yemeni Minister of Public Works Dr. Moeen Abdul Malik described the mines planted by Houthi militias one of the main challenges obstructing infrastructure development projects.
In an interview with Asharq Al-Awsat, Malik recounted what he labeled as ‘extraordinary efforts’ spent by the ministry to limit damage done to national infrastructure.
“The scale of destruction was enormous after Houthi militias were defeated and driven out of their strongholds,” Malik said.
The minister addressed a number of issues on priorities of reconstruction and challenges lying ahead, saying that some vital roads are under construction and others have been completed.
“The preservation of institutional capacities, expertise and assets, under present difficult circumstances imposed by the coup-waged war, which is taking place nationwide, is the most difficult challenge for a ministry responsible for roads, public works and housing,” Malik said when explaining difficulties facing the ministry.
“Without capable institutions, executive offices, the challenge of reconstruction is more difficult,” he added.
Malik also negatively reviewed the looting of a large number of equipment from the ministry’s executive arm.
“The ministry is exerting exceptional efforts in taking inventory of the damage done to infrastructure, public and private buildings and roads,” Malik said.
In 2017, the ministry took on a major role in rehabilitating judicial buildings, courts and a number of ministerial and government buildings in the temporary capital, Aden, with government funding.
Some reconstruction was also undertaken in liberated areas in each of Hadramout and Marib.
In 2018, the ministry worked on other projects in Taiz.
“We have rebuilt the road maintenance system initially, but external funding remains a stumbling block because of the buildup of reconstruction costs, with the exception of emergency funding from our brothers at the Saudi Isnad Center for Comprehensive Humanitarian Operations,” said Malik.
Isnad projects help facilitate the movement of commercial goods and transport.
“Two cranes will soon arrive at the port of Aden, another in Mukalla, and an emergency project at a cost of US $5 million rehabilitating land routes for trucks,” Malik said when speaking on Isnad-affiliated projects in Yemen.
“Of course, war circumstances impose a very difficult reality. Ministry construction teams have been exposed to many dangers, including mines and sniper fire,” added Malik on the difficulty of carrying out reconstruction efforts in Yemen.
“It can be said that thousands of jobs were available during the working period, both directly and indirectly,” Malik said on the number of jobs created by Isnad’s support.