Initiatives will work with war-affected displaced people and host communities to improve health through better water and sanitation
BALTIMORE—Lutheran World Relief and IMA World Health have opened a country office in war-torn Yemen, initiating projects that are improving sanitation and providing clean water for communities in the impoverished country at the southern tip of the Arabian Peninsula.
Yemen, one of the world’s poorest countries, is in the midst of a humanitarian crisis considered among the worst by the United Nations. Lutheran World Relief and IMA World Health are working to improve the health of war-affected communities through projects focusing on waste management and rainwater collection to provide a clean and safe source of water.
“The extent of devastation of the communities, dysfunctional infrastructure and health systems, coupled with chronic poverty and active conflict that I witnessed firsthand during my recent visit to Aden doesn’t compare with anything I’ve seen before,” said Umer Khan, LWR and IMA emergency operations director. “Yet, I believe that with dedication of local communities and support to stimulate local capacities, the potential to overcome these challenges is even greater.”
An initiative in the Qabitah district, an area located north of the city of Aden that has suffered from the armed conflict, is providing rainwater collection systems and ceramic filtration devices to internally displaced people as well as members of the host communities.
The project will employ members of the community to build the rainwater collection systems under the supervision of a civil engineer. Families will also be able to purify water with the filters they receive, reducing the occurrence of water-borne illnesses.
The waste management project is being carried out in a neighborhood in Aden. The war has disrupted municipal services, and the garbage is not being collected in many areas. The mounds of trash are a breeding ground for flies and mosquitoes that spread diseases such as malaria or dengue.
The project will employ local community members to remove trash and other debris from the streets. The refuse will be taken to one of three garbage collection facilities being constructed through this initiative. To heighten community awareness about the importance of waste management and personal hygiene, the project team will hold hygiene awareness sessions and distribute informational brochures and 10,000 hygiene kits.
John Rivera, Senior Manager, Media Relations
Lutheran World Relief | IMA World Health
Cell: +1 443 604 2918 | Office: +1 410 230 2751 | [email protected]