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Houthi Putschists Deprive Eight Yemeni Cities from Water | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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A man fills up jerry cans with water from a public tap in the western Yemeni province of Hodeida March 13, 2012. REUTERS/Khaled Abdullah

Jeddah – Yemeni areas under insurgency control continue to register deteriorating humanitarian conditions, with worsening water supply shortages. The internationally backed government estimated that eight Houthi-held areas have poor water supply.

With every day that passes by Yemenis locked in Houthi-held areas face worsening survival conditions with access to drinkable water dropping. High levels of contamination of water sources have been recorded.

The water supply and sanitation ministry in Yemen refrained from declaring a state of emergency, in an aim to curb the outbreak of panic and further disorder in the war-torn country.

Partnered with international bodies, the ministry will spare no effort in the quest to containing the crisis.

Most of the areas suffering water shortages are located in Tihamah which is a Red Sea coastal plain stretching from the Gulf of Aqaba to the Bab el Mandeb Strait, government official Hibatalllah Saghir Sharim told Asharq Al-Awsat.

Parched tracts of land include Hajjah Governorate, Hodeida, and Sana’a districts all of which are held under Iran-aligned Houthi militias, the official said.

Local authorities have sent out a cry of help warning the human catastrophe right around the corner.

Water pumping has dropped by a disastrous 50 percent in militia-held areas, the government has been working day and night to enhance water provisions to districts in need. However, water supplies pumped or channeled to insurgency areas are appropriated by militiamen to be sold at rocketing prices to impoverished civilians.

Sharim said that ministerial staffs have contacted a number of international parties officially relaying the growing fears for civilians entrapped in coup-held areas. Some organizations have responded positively to the call for help.

The only challenge remaining at hand is delivering aid and humanitarian assistance to people undergoing a hostile and oppressive insurgency rule.

Yemen will soon be facing the worst drought in almost 70 years with a significant risk of starvation leading to “mass deaths”, the United Nations refugee agency had also warned.

Four countries – Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan and Yemen – stand on the brink of a new humanitarian crisis brought about by drought and famine.