Khabar Khair (Only Good News) – Fatima Rashad
Eng. Walid Al-Sarari (Construction Office Manager of the Ministry of Public Works in Aden Governorate) said, “12,221 conflict-affected houses have been renovated in Aden at a total cost of 22,851,449,013 riyals and 24,500,000 dollars. Housing and facilities were distributed among eight districts which is Khormaksar, Al-Tawahi, Al-Mualla, Sirah, Sheikh Othman, Dar Saad, Mansoura and Brega”.
Al-Sarari said, “With the repeated damage that hit Aden Airport, it was restored and rehabilitated more than once, which made it easier for the travelers, and alleviated the suffering experienced by the travelers who were forced to travel through Al-Rayyan Airport when Aden Airport was closed.”
Despite the remnants of the ongoing conflict in Yemen, life continues. Half of its population today suffers from heavy losses caused to the infrastructure that was damaged by the conflict, the cost of which has been estimated at 14 billion dollars.
According to the report prepared by the World Bank, the United Nations, the Islamic Development Bank, and the European Union: the conflict has caused damage costing $7 billion, and economic damage of more than $7.3 billion related to the production and service provision.
The Saudi Development and Reconstruction Program in Yemen Is a Partner in the Reconstruction
Civil society organizations in Yemen were keen on providing relief as well as development grants that contribute to avoiding the scale of disasters and damage to the infrastructure and the resulting consequences, and began working on the construction.
The SDRPY has pledged to implement several architectural and development projects in Yemen that include the economic, educational, social and health sectors. The program has implemented 198 projects distributed over many Yemeni governorates, benefiting 6,71 million partners.
Through the reconstruction process, the program was able to open roads and rehabilitate parts of Qataba Road in Al-Dhalea Governorate. It also contributed to facilitating the movement of commercial activity by developing and increasing the capabilities of ports in Yemen in order to raise the import and export process and serve fishermen.
In the health field, the program rehabilitated 17 hospitals and medical centers in many governorates, which were equipped with the latest medical equipment.
In the agricultural and fisheries field, the program supported fisheries by providing fishing boats and fish storage refrigerators, which helped provide a stable source of income for fishermen. In supporting the agricultural sector, 120 acres were planted, equivalent to 480,000 square meters of agricultural land, which is what will positively reflect on improving the food security and reviving the local markets with diverse seasonal crops.
The assistance provided by the system of programs, institutions, and civil society organizations supporting Yemen to rehabilitate and restore a number of buildings that were damaged by the conflict is deficient in comparison to the extent of the destruction that affected the infrastructure in general. However, the crushed citizen finds that this aid, although it seems easy, is better than nothing.
About the extent of the damage to her house, Suhair speaks to “Khabar Kheir”, saying, “Our situation is better than others. After the conflict that raged in 2015, the second floor of our house was badly damaged, the windows were broken and the ceiling of the hall was destroyed, and we tried to restore what was damaged with the help of the organizations that spent a modest sum that was not enough to renovate our entire house, and we had to rely as much as possible on our small means to restore the house in which the foundations seem to have been badly damaged”.
In a voice choked with tears, S. M. spoke about her house, which had been leveled with dirt, “What can I say? Our humble house has been completely destroyed and it is difficult for us to restore it. Today we live in a rented house, and when I pass by the ruins of our house, my memories are restored and the view suffocates me. It is not easy to see the years of your life in crumbling ruins, and there is nothing we can do and thank God we are still alive and none of us was harmed”.
Among the Rubble Rises Hope
Talking about ages in light of the devastation that surrounds the country is the cornerstone on which any reconstruction plan for Yemen must be built, and it is a reality that any society that seeks to restore what it has robbed of the years of conflict must believe in.
Umm Saeed Al-Hadi’s (a resident of the city of Aden) house was completely demolished, but she did not lose hope for a better tomorrow. She tells “Khabar Kheir” (Good News), “We were displaced to Hadhramaut Governorate, then we returned to Aden and found our house as a pile of rubble. We did not believe what we were being told. People in Aden reported that our house was destroyed, but we reconstructed it, and we got money from civil society organizations that were allocated for the reconstruction and restoration of houses damaged by the conflict”.
Umm Ahlam (a housewife from the city of Aden) looks forward to life with great hope, and tells the “Khabar Kheir” (Good News) website, “We cannot rebuild what has been destroyed in the event of a day and night. We are seeing signs of goodness from some organizations that work on the reconstruction and development, and we are working as much as we can to participate in the reconstruction of the country”.
Umm Ahlam adds, “We have the solution, the community must take the initiative and strongly support initiatives and tireless efforts to repair what the conflict has spoiled. An easy initiative to paint a school or remove the remnants of the conflict is bright beginnings of what is greater than that. We must be proactive in supporting everything that can give a glimmer of hope to this crushed people, and good comes in God’s will”.
Rehabilitation of Historical Buildings
In the midst of the reconstruction process of Yemen, the Social Fund implemented an urban rehabilitation project funded by the European Union through UNESCO to restore a number of historical buildings and monuments in Hadhramaut, Old Sana’a, Zubayd and Aden. Al Qasimi area was rehabilitated, and the project budget amounted to 100,000$.
In addition to the implementation of the project to save the National Museum in Sana’a, the budget of the project amounted to about 46,000$, and in the governorate of Aden, the Fund worked on maintaining tanks, in addition to future plans aimed at restoring a number of monuments and ancient houses in the Crater area.
The competent authorities, organizations and supporting institutions are also seeking to rehabilitate the road network, as it has rehabilitated a number of roads, including the Caltex Roundabout in the Mansoura District in Aden, and paving the Al-Dikka Road, and other roads that are being rehabilitated in the city.
The reconstruction of Yemen must go in parallel with a set of reforms targeting the economic sector in general, and this will lead to ensuring the stability of the currency and providing an enabling environment to start broader and more comprehensive reform plans to compensate for the damage that has befallen the country in all of its vital sectors.