Community-Led Interventions Enhance Water Security and Conflict Mitigation in Yemen

Local community members participate in the rehabilitation of water infrastructure as part of IOM’s durable initiatives in Yemen. Photo: IOM/Rami Ibrahim 

Sana’a Governorate, Yemen – Through its 36-month project funded by the KfW Development Bank, the International Organization of Migration (IOM) has recently launched two new sustainable water interventions in the Hamdan District in Sana’a Governorate, coupled with Cash-for-Work (CfW) initiatives, marking a significant step forward in bolstering community resilience in Yemen.  

“By integrating water and CfW initiatives, we can manage the complex challenges that vulnerable communities in Yemen face, underscoring IOM’s commitment to fostering resilience and providing impactful solutions,” declared IOM’s Acting Chief of Mission in Yemen, Matt Huber. “Together, these interventions not only address immediate needs but also lay the foundation for long-term sustainability and conflict mitigation, empowering communities to thrive amidst adversity.” 

The ongoing project is part of a broader strategy aimed at addressing the multifaceted challenges confronting Yemeni communities. Years of conflict, coupled with damaged infrastructure and economic decline, have left millions without access to basic necessities. 

Displaced populations, in particular, face dire circumstances, often residing in camps with limited access to essential services. Surrounding host communities, unable to accommodate the needs of the influx of displaced persons, grapple with heightened tensions over resources, notably water. 

To address these challenges, IOM’s interventions are designed to promote cooperation between different groups and improve governance capacity at the local level. By enhancing access to clean water and supporting sustainable agricultural practices, IOM aims to strengthen social cohesion, reduce aid dependency, and mitigate the drivers of conflict in Yemen. 

Focusing on displaced populations and surrounding host communities across four governorates in Yemen, the project introduces two new interventions aimed at bolstering the resilience of close to 6,000 people in the areas of Al Jayef Al Asfal and Bani Basheer in the Hamdan District. The interventions seek to improve key infrastructure, boost water supply for drinking, domestic, and irrigation purposes, and build local capacity to manage water-related conflicts effectively. 

IOM’s Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene team focuses on rehabilitating water infrastructure while promoting environmental sustainability by transitioning from diesel generators to solar-powered pumps. In the two new locations, communities will now benefit from reliable and sustainable access to clean water sources, reducing dependence on fossil fuels and lowering water costs for residents. 

Concurrently, IOM’s Peace and Recovery Unit engages local residents in essential tasks related to water security such as the rehabilitation and maintenance of rainwater harvesting tanks. By providing temporary income-generating opportunities, the initiative empowers individuals and families to meet their basic needs while ensuring the functionality of vital water storage facilities throughout the year.

As the project enters its second year, IOM remains dedicated to working closely with local communities, government partners, and the international community to achieve lasting impact and positive change in Yemen. By leveraging partnerships and promoting community participation, IOM aims to build a more resilient and prosperous Yemen for generations to come. 

For more information, please contact: 

Monica Chiriac, Media and Communications Officer, 

IOM Yemen’s Communications Team, 

SDG 6 - Clean Water and Sanitation
SDG 2 - Zero Hunger
SDG 3 - Good Health and Well Being
SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
SDG 13 - Climate Action
SDG 16 - Peace Justice and Strong Institutions