IOM and Local Authorities Kick Off New Water Initiative to Benefit 60,000 Ta’iz City Residents

The pumping station in Al Jamea'ah highlights the progress made in addressing water scarcity in Ta'iz. Photo: IOM/Majed Mohammed

Ta’iz Governorate – This week, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) launched works on the Al Jamea’ah pumping station in Ta’iz, in the presence of the Governor of Ta’iz and local authorities. This priority project, supported by the KfW Development Bank, is poised to address the critical water needs of over 60,000 community members and internally displaced persons in an area where water accessibility is extremely limited.

During the inauguration, Governor Nabil Shamsan extended his gratitude towards IOM for the vital initiatives implemented within the governorate, including the recently established humanitarian hub. He pledged his office’s full support to facilitate IOM’s operations, particularly related to sustainable solutions and long-term initiatives.

“We are committed to ensuring that essential water infrastructure projects like the Al Jamea’ah pumping station are not only inaugurated but also sustainably serve the critical needs of communities and displaced individuals in Ta’iz,” declared IOM’s Acting Chief of Mission in Yemen, Matt Huber. “With the support of local authorities and committed partners, we aim to create lasting impact, ensuring access to clean water through the use of solar energy to pump water for households.”

With a population of 3 million, Ta’iz ranks as Yemen’s third most populated governorate as well as the third highest governorate in dire need of water, sanitation, and hygiene services. The water scarcity issue in Ta’iz dates back to the 1990s, stemming from environmental and geological changes, exacerbated by rapid population growth.

The water crisis in the city has had a profound impact on its economy, as many displaced households rely almost entirely on water trucking services and face limited access to water due to insufficient communal water points. Many of the boreholes identified as primary water sources for supplying the city are inactive due to their proximity to conflict frontlines.

These points, designed to serve the drinking water needs of both the local community and displaced population, remain disconnected from the main water supply network, which has made it challenging for businesses to operate and families to make ends meet.

Since the degradation of water supply networks in the city’s four districts, there has also been a significant surge in reported cases of Acute Watery Diarrhea (AWD). Without interventions to enhance the city’s water supply, it is anticipated that AWD cases, along with other water-borne diseases, will continue to escalate.

To address these challenges, IOM has been working closely with Yemen’s WASH Cluster, the Ta’iz WASH Taskforce, the Ministry of Water and Environment and the Local Water and Sanitation Corporation to assess the current water supply, identify gaps, and prioritize activities that sustainably enhance water supply services in the city.

After an assessment conducted by IOM last year and discussions with local authorities, the decision was made to rehabilitate the Al Jamea’ah pumping station. This station will facilitate the transmission of water from the collective water tank in Al Jamea’ah to distributing water tanks, ensuring water delivery to the population through existing distribution networks.

The assessment concluded that adopting renewable energy systems, especially solar power, was the best approach for achieving a sustainable water supply in Ta’iz to reduce dependency on costly and environmentally unfriendly diesel generators for pumping. As such, the new integrated solar pumping unit aims to ensure a reliable water supply for the city’s population for generations to come.

For more information, please contact: 

Monica Chiriac, Media and Communications Officer,
IOM Yemen’s Communications Team,

SDG 7 - Affordable and Clean Energy
SDG 6 - Clean Water and Sanitation
SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
SDG 13 - Climate Action
SDG 3 - Good Health and Well Being