Yemen is known as one of the countries with the greatest water scarcity in the world. About 18 million people do not have access to safe, clean drinking water or sanitation facilities. Lack of clean drinking water is becoming one of the biggest challenges people will face in the coming years. Within the Yemen Protracted Joint Response, CARE and partner Elemental Water Makers, have been working on a possible solution.
One of the causes of the prevailing water scarcity in Yemen, is the ongoing conflict in the country. Among other things, this has severely damaged the water infrastructure, making the drinking water problem increasingly complex. Another, major cause is climate change. In some areas of Yemen, the effects of the changing climate have already caused severe drought. This has further worsened access to clean and safe drinking water.
Solar desalination equipment
For this particular project, in part funded by the innovation budget of the Dutch Relief Alliance , CARE partnered with Elemental Water Makers. They are experts in solar desalination equipment and have everything needed to organise and operate a desalination plant. CARE, as in many places around the world, has a local office in Yemen. This has added value in preparing the project locally, building capacity, and transferring the necessary knowledge; because to ensure that the project continues successfully, the system must continue to function properly and be maintained.
To ensure this, a specialist, a so-called WASH engineer, from CARE Yemen was trained in the Netherlands to commission, start and manage the solar desalination project. Collaborating with local authorities and community representatives, the desalination water unit was successfully installed and tested in the targeted location. The unit is now fully functional. Yusef Qutary, the Joint Response Coordinator from Yemen: “Access to drinking water is a basic human right, yet it remains a daily struggle for millions in Yemen. Desalination technology offers a solution to this crisis, providing a sustainable source of drinking water for communities in need.”
Photo: The project site with the solar desalination equipment in Yemen. Photo: CARE