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Houthi Negligence Threatens Dams, Historical Monuments in Sanaa

Houthi Negligence Threatens Dams, Historical Monuments in Sanaa

Sunday, 9 August, 2020 - 10:15
People walk on a damaged street at an area flooded by heavy rains in Sanaa, Yemen (Reuters)

Houthi negligence of eight of Sanaa’s dams and seven historical monuments, including the Old City, could lead to the partial or total collapse, warned a number of institutions and bodies in Sanaa.

In a statement issued, the organizations warned of the “willful negligence” and the absence of treatments in light of cessation of restoration projects and periodic maintenance.

The statements called for urgent action to save the Yemeni landmarks from the dangers of heavy rains, and urged for a treatment for the dams to prevent their collapse due to floods.

Meanwhile, Yemenis in Sanaa are trying to restore their properties after the floods, as the militias continue to ignore the disaster and hold daily meetings with local and community leaders, aiming to mobilize citizens to participate in their next sectarian occasion.

About five houses in the Old City collapsed, while two others were evacuated after warnings that they might fall down. Another two buildings in Madhbah and Old Asr in Maeen district totally collapsed, and three other buildings were partially destroyed.

Yemen’s General Organization for Antiquities and Museums and other bodies and institutions urged international and local organizations, wealthy people and philanthropists to assist in restoring the damages caused by rains and floods.

However, Iran-affiliated militias continue to loot financial allocations of the bodies, private funds, and government institutions, since its coup against the legitimate authority in 2014.

Parliamentary and local reports in Sanaa revealed earlier that the insurgents confiscated private funds and transferred them to private accounts of top officials of the group.

Also, local reports in Sanaa stated that since the coup, Houthis seized the revenues of the Heritage and Cultural Development Fund, established in 2002 to contribute to the preservation, restoration, and maintenance of archaeological and historical sites.

Locals on social media appealed to Houthis, as the de facto authority in Sanaa, to save their families, homes, cities and historical monuments from the disaster that flooded several neighborhoods in the capital and other cities.

In addition, five local and international human rights organizations called for aiding residents in governorates that have been severely damaged, due to the disasters resulting from the rains, in particular: Hodeidah, Maerib, Sanaa, and Amran.

The organizations Sam Organization for Rights and Freedoms (SAM), the American Center for Justice (ACJ), Tamkeen Development Foundation, Defense for Rights and Freedoms, and Yemen Women Union indicated that the country is facing an unprecedented humanitarian catastrophe due to the floods, which have added an extra burden on civilians and exacerbated the humanitarian crisis in the country.

The organizations indicated that this increases health risks in already deteriorating areas, and threatens to spread diseases, such as cholera, measles, and dengue fever, which infected tens of thousands during the war.

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