SFD’s interventions in the water sector responds to the current water shortage realized by the gradual reduction of groundwater level, the intermittent water supply to communities in urban and rural areas, and the continuous deterioration of groundwater quality due to excessive consumption.

With this situation, SFD has adopted the traditional water systems that were behind the famous Yemeni civilization prospered in the 12th century BCE. Therefore, most of SFD’s interventions in the water sector focus on renewable water resources such as rainwater and springs. Interventions based on groundwater are limited to coastal areas where rainwater harvesting is not practical.

SFD believes that with the intermittent water supply there is strong argument about water quality, therefore, water treatment at the point of use becomes the most effective option for minimizing water born diseases.  All SFD’s interventions in the water sector for domestic use are aiming to achieve the national water coverage definition which states “The availability of 30 l/c/d of improved quality water, within a fetching time not more than 30 minutes roundtrip throughout the year”. Hence the intervention in any community aims to fill the gap in water demand and bring the community at least to the level of this definition.

When it comes to WASH, the ideal case that SFD is aiming to is: SFD’s targeted communities have access to improved water and sanitation, and practice hygiene at a level that is conducive for living healthy lives.

This means that WASH interventions should integrate water supply, sanitation and hygiene.  Among these, hygiene needs to be given first priority because experience shows that attitudes and practices are much more important than physical infrastructure. Neither water supply nor sanitation will contribute to improved lives if the users do not practice hygiene in their everyday lives.

For targeting the neediest communities during its phase IV (2011-2015), SFD used the data of 2004 census where 4400 communities have been selected to be targeted during based on the following indicators:

  1. 100% of the houses don't have water in their premises.
  2. Population is more than or equals to 300 persons.
  3. Poverty index is more than 50%.

Of course, the need has to be checked in the field as changes are expected since 2004 census. Among the listed 4,400 communities priority will be given to communities with the highest poverty index as long as the other indicators are fulfilled.

To provide communities with water for domestic use, SFD works in the following subsectors:

  1. Rooftop rainwater harvesting
  2. Public rainwater harvesting – closed cisterns
  3. Public rainwater harvesting – open cisterns
  4. Surface water (springs, and reservoirs)
  5. Ground water (Shallow and deep wells)
  6. Training and awareness
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