2.5 million Yemenis have no access to clean water in crowded cities

The capital Sanaa and al-Bayda have joined the list of Yemen cities without clean water due to the blockade by a Saudi-led coalition which has cut off supplies of fuel for pumping, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said.

Some 2.5 million Yemenis now lack access to clean water in crowded cities, “putting them at risk of another major outbreak of water-borne disease”, and other cities are running out of fuel, ICRC spokeswoman Iolanda Jaquemet said.

Since April, some 940,768 people in Yemen have been infected with cholera, a water-borne disease, in the world’s worst epidemic in a single year that has killed at least 2,200, and cases of dysentery are being reported, she said.

“The water and sewage systems in Dhamar and Amaran are now providing only half the normal coverage,” Jaquemet added.

The Saudi-led coalition closed all air, land and sea access to Yemen on Nov. 6 following the interception of a missile fired towards the Saudi capital, saying it had to stem the flow of arms from Iran to its Houthi opponents in the war in Yemen.

On Friday, the ICRC said three cities – Saada, Taiz and Hodeidah – had run out of clean water because the blockade had cut imports of fuel needed for pumping and sanitation, depriving close to 1 million people of clean water.

“Today, Sanaa and al-Bayda joined the list,” Jaquemet said.

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