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World Bank Report Sheds Light on Sufferings of Yemeni Women

World Bank Report Sheds Light on Sufferings of Yemeni Women

Saturday, 28 May, 2022 - 06:15
Filling jerrycans from the water tank built by YECRP in Quhal, Iyal Surayh district, Amran. | Photo Credit: UNDP Yemen/2021

Katebah Sayyad, a 60-year-old woman in Quhal, describes fetching water as “an exhausting task for people, especially women.”

In the Yemeni village of Quhal, in Amran governorate in northern Yemen, the main source of water used to be the old rainwater ponds that filled during the summer.

This water fed crops and animals and was used to clean homes and wash clothes, and provided drinking water. But it did not cover all the village’s needs and people had to resort to buying water from delivery trucks.

The World Bank’s Emergency Crisis Response Project, funded by International Development Association, revealed the statements of Katebah and other women.

It is one of many reports that show Yemeni women as the most affected by the Yemeni war.

The World Bank’s Emergency Crisis Response Project has sought to address this situation by providing closer access to clean water.

"The dam and water tank subprojects have provided us with clean drinking water. The two subprojects have improved the level of public health and reduced cases of cholera and other waterborne diseases,” Katebah says.

Across Yemen, the project has built 1,279 public reservoirs and more than 30,00 household rainwater harvesting cisterns, supplying nearly 900,000 cubic meters of water.

And with better water management, comes better agriculture. The project is also working to increase food production, in part by improving agricultural techniques. It has so far helped restore more than 24,000 hectares of farmland and provided 7,720 farmers with modern farming equipment and training to improve productivity.

Many of the farmers are women. “We women help each other on our farms. When I want to take care of my farm, I call my fellow women to help me. The next day, I go to help one of them. That is how we’ve always done things, and we will continue to do so,” says another 60-year-old farmer, Hailah Al-Koul from Bani Hushaish in Sanaa governorate.

Hailah has been growing grapes for over 50 years on the farm she inherited from her parents, and which she plans to leave to her children. Last year, heavy rainfalls, aphids, fruit flies, and mildew hit the crops hard.

She has since received support from the Emergency Crisis Response Project to help rehabilitate her land and improve her crop yields and income. Along with 70 grape farmers like her, Hailah was provided with trellises, which ensure exposure to sunlight and good airflow, as well as hand tools to till the soil.

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