“Unlivable”… [Archives:2001/32/Viewpoint]

August 6 2001

As conditions in Yemen continue to deteriorate in terms of economy and security, there is an increasing tendency by Yemenis to try and seek opportunities abroad. Yearly, hundreds of thousands of Yemenis apply for immigration to other countries in the hope of finding a better life. Their excuse is that Yemen has become “unlivable”.
Today, Yemeni people is frustrated more than ever, not because of the hardships, but because of the bleak future that awaits their children. They believe that the future of the country would surely be “unlivable” if serious measures are not taken.
Analysts and economic experts, who have been trying to predict the country’s future, openly declared that Yemen may indeed be an “unlivable” place on the planet. Their conclusions were based on the current statistics in water consumption, population growth, oil production decrease, increasing security flaws, potentials for political conflict, and many other factors. As a university professor was filing an immigration application to Canada, he told me: “How can I stay if enough water is not secured for my family, if electricity is out most of the day, if prices are too high, and of course, if I cannot guarantee a reasonable future for my children?”The latest diesel price increase is another illustration that living conditions are becoming tougher. In a time when pro government organs -unfortunately- still insist that such an increase in such a time will bring prosperity to the Yemeni people, its effects have started to flex their muscles. One look at the loaf of bread (shown on the front page of this issue), which had shrunk upon the diesel price increase, could easily trigger pessimism and frustration in our readers all over the country. For a family of ten, no less than 50 of such loafs of bread would be enough for one single meal, which adds extra burdens on them.
Furthermore, regarding the latest kidnapping incident, the government proved its weakness by confessing its inability to find who the abductors were and where the German diplomat is being held captive. The security forces are not to blame but years of neglect on the part of the successive governments in dealing with the illegal small arms trade issue. After all, this incident could have happened a long time ago. However, for some reason, the kidnappers decided to carry their plans just now, perhaps in an attempt to embarrass the new government putting it in a difficult situation in front of the world. Whether the government have recently been taking positive steps or not, the conditions are obviously still deteriorating. Yemen is losing every year thousands of hard working nationals seeking better opportunities abroad. There should always be hope, but hope is running out in most of the new generation. Yemen’s can be prevented from becoming “unlivable”. But that can only be done by solid steps by the highest-ranking decision-makers in the country.
I just hope that Yemen’s “unlivable” conditions do not continue to dominate, especially nowadays when we need qualified cadres to develop and prosper to develop modern Yemen.