Zaid Muhsen Salbah and his son, Ali, checking in on their sick father (Photo Credit: UNDP Yemen)

70-year-old Zaid Muhsen Salbah lives with his family in the Dhalima Habour village in Amran District where his life has not always been easy. He recently lost a son to the cholera epidemic sweeping Yemen, and suffered a stroke that left him bedridden and unable to move on his own. Because their house had no bathroom, his two sons – Zaid and Ali – helped care for their father by assisting him day and night to walk to a distant location to relieve himself.  

Despite his desire to work outside the home to help bring money home for the family, Ali – Zaid’s younger son – was often the one to stay home to help him get through the day. The family survived on the little money that Zaid, the son, earned to purchase food and necessities.

Recently, however, through UNDP and partners, the sons received a cash-for-work grant that allowed them to break through one of the external walls of the home to build a bathroom. The new bathroom allows Zaid, the father, the ability to easily access a toilet which is now located near his bed, and also enables Ali to work outside the home. “Having a bathroom in our house is a turning point in our lives,” Ali said. “I can now work and earn money without worrying how my father will fare,” He noted that the family also benefited from the money the sons earned from working on the bathroom construction as it has helped them buy much needed food.

As for the father, Zaid, he is happy he is able to live a more independent life and is proud that his son, Ali, is able to return to work. 

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UNDP has partnered with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to implement the US$ 3 million WASH Emergency Crisis Response Project to improve quality water sources, and appropriate sanitation and hygiene services. This is done through the construction of water reservoirs and building latrines for vulnerable local households in deprived rural communities.

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