Yemen is facing a severe water crisis with some projections indicating that the capital, Sana’a, could run out of water within the next 10 years. In the meantime, only 22 per cent of rural and 46 per cent of urban populations are connected to even partially functioning public water networks. Less than 55 per cent of the population has access to safe drinking water.
With regard to sanitation, access is as low or even lower in Yemen than in many sub-Saharan African countries. Potentially life-threatening diseases such as malaria continue to spread and, in 2018, Yemen was subject to the largest outbreak of cholera in modern history.
Realizing universal access to safe and affordable drinking water by 2030 demands investment in infrastructure and sanitation facilities to ensure that proper hygiene is possible in even the most remote households. Protecting and restoring water-related ecosystems such as forests, mountains, wetlands and wadis – as well as rehabilitation of land terraces – is essential if the country is to mitigate water scarcity. International cooperation is also needed to encourage water efficiency and support treatment technologies in the long-coastal areas of Yemen.