For people like Fatima, who lives in a run-down house in the old city of Crater in Aden, to install a new sewage system in her neighborhood was a priority like none other. Over the years, the old sewer line was no longer able to do the job as more households got added to the neighborhood, adding to the rapid wear and tear of the sewers.
The pipes of the sewage system were not just old and rusty, their capacity was designed for just a fraction of the current overload of houses in the 1960s. The new houses built in the area have caused the 5-inch-pipes to burst, causing overflow of sewage water and potential dangers of spread of infectious diseases such as cholera and malaria.
For the past 15 years, Fatima and the residents of the neighborhood had been struggling with the issue. Of late, the sewage water was overflowing from her toilet and seeping into other rooms of her house. She had been knocking doors seeking help to solve this problem.
“Peace of mind has prevailed in our neighborhood since the beginning of 2019; The dangers of cholera and malaria are eliminated now.”
“My family got in a tizzy every time we saw the sewage water coming out of the toilet. We would make sure nothing was left on the ground to avoid being spoiled by the dirty water. It was a nightmare that we lived for almost 15 years,” Fatima says.
“My house is located down the hill. When the sewer pipes were blocked, the sewage water flushed back from the toilet and manholes near the house, causing streams of dirty water inside and around the house,” explains Fatima, a grandmother of seven.
“I used to hire the services of sanitary worker almost every week to clear the sewer pipes to avoid any clogging,” she explains. “This additional drag on my income forced me to cut back on the daily purchase of bread to solve this issue. I even brought a builder to elevate the toilet and the doorstep from the ground level. Despite all these attempts, the sewage water all of a sudden continued to overflow from a time to another.”
“The ongoing conflict in Yemen seemed to shatter any hope of a close intervention to resolve this issue.”
With funding and support from the World Bank and through the Yemen Emergency Crisis Response Project (YECRP), UNDP and its national partner, the Social Fund for Development (SFD), were able to repair the sewage system in Fatima’s neighborhood.
To receive benefits from this project, internally-displaced people and least disadvantaged people from the host community were given the opportunity to work through the cash-for-work activities of the project.
The old 5-inch-pipes were replaced with new 8-inch ones and new manholes were constructed to accommodate the needs of the new urban constructions. In addition, the back alleys of the neighborhood were cleaned from piled up debris and paved with cement.
“The 15-year-long suffering has come to an end at last. The sewage water does not come out of the toilet anymore and the foul-smelling streams of sewage water and piles of garbage have disappeared from our neighborhood.”
“I feel my seven grandchildren are now safe from cholera and other diseases. I have high appreciation for UNDP and SFD for doing such a good work. I can only show my gratitude through presenting cold water and tea with milk to the workers.”
Funded and supported by the World Bank, the Yemen Emergency Crisis Response Project (YECRP) is implemented by the Social Fund for Development (SFD) and the Public Works Project (PWP) in partnership with UNDP. The USD $400 million project provides economic stimuli in the form of large cash-for-work projects, support to small businesses, and labor-intensive repairs of socio-economic assets, benefiting vulnerable local households and communities across Yemen.