Yemen’s displaced families most affected by heavy rains, floods


DM Monitoring

SANAA: Months of heavy rains and floods in Yemen have badly affected thousands of displaced families across the country, worsening the already catastrophic humanitarian crisis driven by the years-long civil war.
In Dharawan camp for displaced people in the northern suburb of the Houthi-held capital Sanaa, the rains and floods have left hundreds of families in appalling conditions.
“We suffer a lot in these old and leaky tents amid this heavy rainfall season and many people have contracted diseases,” Abdo Shooai Jawhar told Xinhua.
Jawhar, his wife and their eight children live in a small, dilapidated tent at the center of the displaced camp. They have no food or clean water, and they sleep on the bare ground, wrapping themselves with some tattered blankets.
There is no clinic or doctors in the camp and the families lack access to clean water, soap and sanitary toilets.
Each morning, many of the displaced families walk miles along the highway leading into the northern part of the capital Sanaa, where they beg on the streets for money, food and clean water for their children.
But the constant rains and floods besiege them and prevent them from moving and searching for some bread.
“We fled our home in the province of Saada due to the intensified bombardment… Now we are living here in very bad conditions and we have no income or job,” Jawhar cried.
The displaced families, who have fled from several northern provinces, say that they are in dire need of food aid, clean water, medicine, hygiene materials, mattresses, blankets, clothes and new tents to protect them from the cold winter, summer heat and the rainy season.
Yemen has been mired in civil war since late 2014, when the Iran-backed Houthi group seized control of much of the country’s north and forced the Saudi-backed government of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi out of the capital Sanaa.
The war has killed tens of thousands of Yemenis, destroyed the country’s health and economic systems and pushed over 20 million to the brink of famine.
The UN says around 80,000 more Yemeni people were forced from their homes since the start of the year, bringing the total displaced in Yemen to almost 4 million. It says the recent floods have raised the risk of malaria, dengue fever and cholera.
The floods have killed at least 172 people in the government-held provinces and damaged many houses of the residents and swept away hundreds of tents in several displaced camps, a government health official told Xinhua.
Meanwhile, the Houthi-controlled health authorities in Sanaa reported that at least 131 people had died in the floods in the northern provinces under their control. They said millions of the displaced families are the most affected by the heavy rains and floods.
The torrential rain has also damaged UNESCO-listed world heritage sites across the country.