The water emergency in Yemen puts thousands of people at risk of Cholera

Our aid workers in Taiz are actively raising awareness and guiding the city on best practices for water usage and on construction of water and sanitation infrastructure



Located in southwest Yemen, the city of Taiz is the third largest inhabited city in the country. At the beginning of the war, in March 2015, the so-called Taiz Campaign struck and was arguably one of the toughest battles, ultimately tearing the city apart leaving it in desperation. After six years, Taiz is still in a humanitarian emergency characterised by the population’s needs for food, medical care, and clean drinking water.


Throughout even the most crucial moments of the war, INTERSOS has remained present and committed to its mission regarding clean water for the city. In order to improve the protective and hygienic conditions for vulnerable communities, INTERSOS humanitarian workers are actively engaged in awareness-raising interventions on how to correctly utilise drinking water, develop waste management facilities, and to provide water and sanitation infrastructure.


The population being supported by this project is extremely fragile, specifically displaced persons, minors, women, disabeled people, and the elderly. In coordination with local authorities, INTERSOS is researching, drilling, and constructing water pumps to ensure that Taiz has the foundations for the installation of water fountains.


The importance for displaced people to have access to water


Because it can be particularly difficult for displaced people to access water, hygiene and essential hydration becomes impossible to guarantee. There are about 67,000 people in need of humanitarian aid in the area. We have taken and will continue to take the necessary measures to ensure that this population has access to water. We are involved in the transportation of drinking water to residential areas, the installation of chlorination points which will purify the water in areas with increased Cholera outbreaks. Unfortunately, the few aquifers in the area are heavily polluted, which we addressed by adding solid waste removal activities. We are also building hand washing points in urban centers and crowded public places.


It is vital that the city of Taiz, and Yemen overall, have access to clean/safe drinking water so that the country can avoid the risk of contracting cholera or dysentery, which can be fatal for children under the age of 5. Recently, there have been 2.5 million suspected cases and around 4,000 deaths. If this is contextualised, along with the COVID-19 pandemic, the water and hygiene emergency becomes even more crucial to mitigate.

Flavia Melillo
Flavia Melillo