Milhan District, in Mahweet Governorate, is one of the most difficult areas to reach in the Republic of Yemen, and it is classified as a rugged mountainous region. Milhan is one of the largest mountain ranges in the Republic of Yemen. The roads leading to the sub-districts of Milhan are steep, dangerous, and high-rise. You hardly see any flat areas. Because of this natural, yet difficult, topography, most organizations and bodies have been reluctant to intervene in this region. Even if you could access it, you would not find the very basic foundations of life. However, the YDN refused to stand still, and persisted to contribute to alleviating the suffering of the residents of the areas of Al-Ahbool and Hura in the sub-district of Al-Qibla of Milhan District, defying all forceful conditions and rugged terrain. The people of the two areas did not have access to clean water, as the water sources were open to air and exposed to pollution. Severe acute malnutrition, and other diseases, were widespread due to pollution resulting from the absence of bathrooms, the spread of the phenomenon of defecation in the open and the low level of health awareness .
Yemen Development Network rehabilitated 10 water sources serving more than 10,000 beneficiaries and established 300 dry toilets targeting severe acute malnutrition cases and serving 2,100 beneficiaries. YDN also conducted activities that contribute to limiting the spread of diseases and promoting community public health, such as distributing hygiene bags, pottery filters for water purification in homes, water transport and storing containers and vessels, as well as awareness sessions targeting all segments of society.
These activities contributed to providing clean, safe and potable water, and to shrinking the phenomenon of open defecation, and in raising awareness among community members about public and personal hygiene.
“You were the best to extend hand by your concrete and sustainable intervention in constructing drinking water reservoirs and rehabilitating the resources the problems of which we were suffering from, and which was the reason for depriving our children of education and the cause of their suffering because they waited in the mid-nights for long hours in order to get a drink of water for their families. Thank you for your contribution in raising our awareness of the importance of hygiene, which contributed to the eradication of watery disease. The water we were drinking was polluted and unclean, and it contained impurities because the water sources were exposed to the open air. However, as we used the distributed clay filters, we started drinking clean water. Now the organizations are getting more and more encouraged to reach our area after we were forgotten, and thanks to the YDN,” said Ahmed Ali, one of the beneficiaries from the Al-Jumaymah village.
“The water sources would, if rain or torrent came, be swept away, and this would deprive the populations for several days of obtaining drinking water. The water sources were open to the air and exposed to pollution, and we were infected with diseases. However, by your intervention to rehabilitate these sources, you protected them from pollution. Now even if rain and torrents come, the water will not be cut off. Further, we used to walk and see stool everywhere. Yet, after building the bathrooms, and attending the awareness-raising campaigns, people would feel ashamed if there were stool in front of their house or close to them, and this made people abandon defecating in the open. Now people have started to use bathrooms. Even those who did not have a bath, they built one attached to their homes at their own expense. Thank you very much, heroes.”, said Majid Al-Jabarti, the father of a child suffering from severe acute malnutrition and one of the beneficiaries from Al-Hajar village.
Ahmed Muhammad, one of the beneficiaries in the Hura area of Jahsh village said “No organization has intervened in our area before. Organizations would usually visit us and survey our needs after which we would not see any traces of them. During the YDN data collection visit to us, I wondered sarcastically whether we will see you again. Yet, nearly 6 months have passed and we see you on a daily basis.”