20 per cent of deficit now in Sana’aGrowing water shortfall looms [Archives:2005/816/Local News]

February 14 2005

Ismail Al-Ghabiri
Yemeni Minister of Water and Environment Mohammad Lutf Al-Eriani said last week that the annual shortage in water is now estimated at one billion cubic meters.

He said 20% of the deficit is in the Sana'a basin.

In a special workshop related to the implementation of the water sector strategy and investment program in the capital, the minister pointed out that water deficit is due to increase during the upcoming period due to the rapid population growth, the increasing demand for water and the deterioration of traditional irrigation means.

He confirmed that the annual consumption of water is estimated at 3.5 billion cubic meters while the underground nourishment is only 2.5 billion cubic meters.

On his part, Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Sufan said that the water shortfall is considered one of the most challenging problems that hinders the development process in the country.

He pointed out that his government is working hard to bring possible solutions for such problem through tackling the phenomenon of population concentration in hills mountainous areas, as well as through developing the coastal cities and the population increase in the urban areas.

Sufan also pointed out that the government is on the way of implementing highways network from east to west as well as in the Arab and Red Sea to create more economic activities.

This comes at a time when the Ministry of Oil and Minerals is intending to extend the natural gas pipelines during to all the coastal areas.

Government sources released that the Ministry of Water and Environment is exerting intensive efforts to bring solutions to the water crisis, such as the provision of labs and other facilities for distilling water.

Doing so, the government takes for granted the large cost of such projects and profits from experiences of Gulf countries.

Meanwhile, 30 researchers were intending to hold a symposium on Feb.14 on the reality of water resources in the city of Taiz.

It is worth mentioning that some of international reports revealed that pure water services does not cover more 37% of population living in main cities.