In Yemen, people have been in charge
January, 2015: “In Yemen, no one is in charge,” screams a headline, reporting the national government’s resignation amid a long-festering political impasse between political outfits and Houthi militias.
The power vacuum in Yemen arouses despair, sure. But those familiar with the nation’s history will derive hope from the numerous examples of communities leading the management of their water resources. The video series “Groundwater Security in Yemen…” captures the legacy of decades of community-led water harvesting, sharing and decision making—spectacular structures, long-standing water users’ associations, and inspiring cases of recovered aquifers.
This is documented in detail in the publication ‘Groundwater Security in Yemen: Role and Responsibilities of Local Communities in Conserving Groundwater’ available exclusively on TheWaterChannel. Both English and Arabic versions are free to download. Also available in English and Arabic is the book ‘Traditional Irrigation Systems & Methods of Water Harvesting in Hadramout & Shabwah Governorates,’ which documents the best of Yemeni ingenuity when it comes to making the most of scarce irrigation water in arid areas.