British, CARE help outDealing with water and conflict [Archives:2005/814/Local News]

February 7 2005

By Fahmia Al-Fotih
For The Yemen Times

A new water management and conflict resolution project was launched in Yemen, Feb. 2 by the British embassy and CARE International.

The project will last for an 18 months period and will focuses on training and capacity-building measures related to water and tribal conflicts in al-Jawf and Amran governorates.

“It is a pilot project which is funded by UK and among the other many projects that run globally attempt to prevent water conflict. One of the main causes of conflict in the north of Yemen is scare water,” said Patrick Tobin, head of the Political and Projects Sections in the British Embassy, Sana'a.

The project, which will include digging of wells, costs 80,000 pounds.

Tobin added, “We recognize that water sources are scare and it is diminished. It is about managing the resources over there. In some areas water is being wasted and pumped not public served. Some areas they have access to water but they cannot serve it.”

The first stage is to have people to do initial studies to the situation and the second phase involves training workshops in attempt to raise awareness among the villagers how to manage water to build water conflict networks.

The third stage is to present the results of this project and studies.

Yemen representative of CARE International in Yemen, Jonathan Paddiford, said CARE's involvement in this type of program is “a little bit new for us, but at the same time we, in CARE, believe very much in community participation and working with communities.”

He said CARE also has a history in water, with water projects in Mahweet, Haja and Abyan. Iamran and Al-Jawf. “So it is commonsense to start out project there. We all see that conflict is central in water. This project is to examine how to manage water conflict together.”

The head of the Civic Democratic Initiative Foundation, Abdual Majid Al-Fahad, said, the CDF's role is to organize the training of the project beside the conference that will be done in the end of the project.

“The whole idea is an attempt to decrease conflict related to water. It is to train people how to manage rare resources like water. It seems those areas have limited amount of water. It will be like training them how to redesign their life, and in the same time, the same tool could be applied for other fields.”