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Yemenis Accuse Houthis of Neglect, Corruption as Floods Wreak Havoc in Sanaa

Yemenis Accuse Houthis of Neglect, Corruption as Floods Wreak Havoc in Sanaa

Saturday, 19 March, 2022 - 07:30
Yemeni resident documenting the recent floods that hit Sanaa (EPA)

Sanaa residents accused the Houthi militias of neglect after heavy rains, mixed with sewage water, flooded the city's streets and camps of the displaced persons.

Local sources in Sanaa said that the streams swept through several streets and neighborhoods, blocking the roads as many could not leave their homes for necessities.

Activists cautioned residents against heading out to the streets unless the rains had stopped, warning against walking in the flowing streams. Some even circulated pictures and videos on social media showing most of the streets and neighborhoods of the capital flooded and dozens of cars being swept away.

Sanaa's citizens, displaced persons, and car and shop owners held the militias fully responsible for their heavy losses, saying the group did nothing to protect people and their properties.

The Civil Defense Department, under the Houthi control, appealed to militia leaders to provide rescue equipment that would facilitate their duties and help citizens.

Civil Defense workers told Asharq Al-Awsat that the group did nothing to help mitigate the damage.

They confirmed that lack of response from the authorities worsened the damages, noting that it was possible to avoid many of the losses incurred through evacuations and removal of cars and shops and markets' merchandise to safe areas.

They held the militias responsible for the losses and damages resulting from the floods, noting that the meteorological department did not issue any warning to citizens of upcoming heavy rains or caution them to stay away from the streams.

Meanwhile, a number of Sanaa residents told Asharq Al-Awsat that some areas are in a tragic situation that could cause an environmental disaster after the rains got mixed with sewage water and flooded most of the streets.

They reported that some neighborhoods and streets could be closed because of the floods.

Residents of several neighborhoods in the capital also blamed Houthis' neglect and corruption for the situation.

Since the group's coup, Sanaa residents have suffered greatly, with bad roads and damaged sewage networks repeatedly overflowing into the streets of overpopulated neighborhoods, leaving foul odor and causing diseases.

Officials in the Water and Sanitation Services, under Houthi control, confirmed to Asharq Al-Awsat that the militias had converted the water corporation into private ownership.

They said the group confiscated all the institution's assets, balances, fuel, and operating equipment.

A department director, whom the group recently dismissed, said that they cannot use a single car without prior permission from the militias, noting that this led to the floods' situation witnessed today.

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