The World Bank approved a $130 million credit to upgrade urban water supply and sanitation services in densely populated urban communities of Yemen. Through improved operation and reduction of water losses, the project is hoped to increase water supplies and provide affordable sewerage facilities, which will enable wastewater to be reused for agriculture.
The urban water and wastewater sector in Yemen is confronted with major challenges in the face of increased water shortage in the country. The sector has been unable to cover expenses and cost of new investments. In addition, the National Water and Sanitation Authority and its branches are in need of more effective managerial and technical capabilities.
In response to these challenges, the government of Yemen launched an Urban Water Sector Strategy in 1997 to decentralize services and achieve financial self-sufficiency by establishing water and wastewater corporations that are state-owned but operate independently on a day-to-day basis.
The project supports the government’s sector policy, placing emphasis on improving the financial viability, autonomy and the creation of opportunities for increased private sector participation.
As services from local corporations improve, it is expected that low-income households will rely less on higher-priced water supplied by private vendors. This will ease the burden on the household budget and relieve women and children, in particular, from the time-consuming task of fetching and carrying water. — (menareport.com)
© 2002 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )