Yemen Red Sea Islands [Archives:2001/37/Last Page]

September 10 2001

In the last issue, we dealt with some Yemeni islands located in Hajjah such as Al-Ashek Al-Sagheer (the Little lover), Thu Harab, Al-Rafae and
Al-Barri, Sana, Al-Esht, and Baklan Island. In this issue, we will deal with one of the most important islands in Hodeidah governorate, that is Kamaran, Zukar, and Hunaish Archipelago. Kamaran Island is adjacent to the Al-Saleef Region. It includes a number of small islands, such as Othman, Zamer, Al-Jabal, Rash, and Okban islands.
Climate in Kamaran
The Island is formed by atolls and coral reefs. The low central lands can be cultivated. In the southern part of the island, palm trees are widely grown. The people there depend on livestock and agriculture, particularly in the rainy seasons. The second northern half of the Island is mainly a plain and a sandy land. This part is also characterized by the growing of mangrove tees which cover almost 30 square kilometers. This part of the island becomes a pasture for camels during the dry season and is considered to be a haven for gazelles and a shelter for the colony of birds living there permanently.
From an administrative point of view, the island is administrated by a Local Council and is attached to Hodeidah governorate. The island covers about 61 square kilometer and it is 12 kilometer long. The population of the island counts 5,000 people and, among of them, 2000 people are nomads.
Economic Activities of the Population.
The majority of the population depends mainly on fishing. As for women, they play an active role in traditional and craftwork industry such as dresses, home-made caps, potteries, earthen wares and dress sewing. The inhabitants of the island are also active in organizing symposiums, setting up committees, or forming sports teams. For instance, the Kamaran Youth Club is one of the second rank football team. The Club also publishes a cultural magazine called Sout Al-Shabab (the Voice of Youth).
In the past, it was one of the most important centers in fishing. The island holds also a very strategic location and consequently the government has recently carried out projects such as rehabliltation of the airport in order to make the island more attractive for tourism. The health services are very low and of poor quality. Health facilities need to be repaired and maintained and the lack of specialist cadres must soon be tackled. In Kamaran, a center for motherhood and childhood was opened in 2000 for a total cost of YR 5 million financed by the German Technical Cooperation Agency (GTZ).
Education in Kamaran is also very low and only five schools can be found in the different parts of the island. Furthermore, the inhabitants have complained bitterly about the unavailability of means of transportation, the poorly maintained ways of communication, school canteens, the prevailing mentality for some fathers not to let girls go to schools, the lack of qualifications among teachers, and water shortages. In short, suffering is the prevailing factor among the inhabitants of the Kamaran.