Thousands of War-Displaced Yemenis Hit by Floods

By Diogo Augusto

2 Sep 2022 by The Water Diplomat

At least 38 people have been reported dead in the wake of heavy flooding in war-stricken Yemen. Rainstorms, floods and landslides have impacted the province of Marib which, according to UNICEF has, just this year, resulted in an estimated 10.000 displaced individuals. Overall, it is calculated that the war has displaced 90.000 people who sought refuge in Marin. However, some reports indicate a total displaced population of up to 2 million in the province.

Thousands of shelters have been destroyed in the aftermath of torrential rains  The Yemeni government has requested urgent humanitarian relief to address the needs of all the displaced who have seen their shelters destroyed by flash floods. Affected families have been moved to schools, hotels and public facilities, but local aid workers request urgent assistance. Mohammed Al-Soaidi, an aid worker with the Executive Unit for IDP Camps, said: “People are in need of shelter and food. Tents that cannot protect people from harsh weather or rains must be replaced.”

In addition, hundreds of people are reported to be trapped in villages in the mountains after landslides blocked roads making it impossible to leave and to get aid in. In Sanaa, the country’s capital, and UNESCO world heritage site, 10 buildings have collapsed as a result of the heavy rains and 80 more have been severely damaged. Air strikes resulting from the ongoing war may have shaken these building’s foundations and the war has prevented proper conservation works from being executed in these old buildings. According to Basheer Al-Selwi, spokesperson for the International Committee of the Red Cross, these floods are exacerbating an already very precarious humanitarian situation after 8 years of war. ,