WASH Team contributes to solve the problem of sewage in Al-Safyah in RadaNFDHR - Wednesday, 14 March, 2018
Despite NFDHR’s effort to connect the streets and neighborhoods in the city of Rada'a to the swage network and to repair the sewage system, there are still some problems that need to be addressed. These issues mainly include the closure of the sewage and the inspection rooms, especially in the al-Safiya al-Gharbi neighborhood, in the west of the town of Rada'a.
1549 families have been living in the neighborhood of Al Safya during the past three months, and the families are suffering from the inhalation of terrible odors and the exposure to diseases and diarrhea. This is due to the blockage of subways that connects these families’ homes to the main network, which leads to the formation of ponds and marshes in the neighborhood.
The people in this area are not aware about the risks they face and their indifference to the actual problem leads to wrongful accusations among each other about the cause of the problem. Every person is waiting for someone else to take the initiative in addressing the problem.
In mid-February, the National foundation for Development and Humanitarian Response’s (NFDHR) WASH Team visited Al-Safiya Al-Gharbia to conduct awareness sessions on epidemic prevention and hygiene, as part of the project, Health and WASH Integrated Response for IDPs and Those Most Vulnerable to Cholera in Al Bayda Governorate United Nations Fund for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (Humanitarian Financing Fund – Yemen).
The team was surprised by the magnitude of the problem and the risk it posed for locals, especially as the rainy season approached. Based on this visit, the WASH team developed an integrated plan aimed at solve the sewage problem in the neighborhood and promoting community awareness through public awareness sessions. Accordingly, they planned to conduct awareness sessions on the streets around town, in schools and through home visits to encourage and stimulate people to cooperate and work together to address the closure of the sewage network.
The team conduct 22 awareness sessions and hundreds of house visits to explain the dangers of the sewage problem, including the return of cholera, food and water contamination, and the spread of pathogens. The team made great efforts to meet with the residents and authorities to address their opposing and accusatory views. Still the people were separated, accusing each other of the problem and refusing to contribute to its solution.
The WASH team members continued with the city's cleansing fund, which commissioned a team to come to the neighborhood to assess and address the problem. The team immediately proceeded to remove the residues in the minarets and inspection rooms, which gradually helped to reduce the accumulated pools of sewage, but still some residue was stuck in the network and could not be reached without special equipment.
During the first week of March, the Foundation started a large-scale campaign to clean up the city's sewage system, starting from Al-Safiya to avoid a repentance of the sewage problem in the neighborhood.
The team was not satisfied with this achievement but insisted that they carry out
awareness sessions for the population, including women and children. Through these awareness sessions the team educated communities about the damage caused by improper disposal of waste, plastic bags and cloth in the sewerage system and by opening the water pipes during the rainy season.