Rehabilitating irrigation canals revives hopes of farmers in Hadramout

أضيف بتاريخ: 25 - 03 - 2021

Although 12 years have passed since the 2008 floods disaster in the governorates of Hadramout and Al-Mahra, its effects are still present in more than one aspect, the most important is the agricultural sector.
Abdullah Saeed Al-Nouhi is one of thousands of farmers who were affected by the disaster. Despite his repeated appeals for 12 years, he did not find anyone to restore life to his farm located to the northwest of the city of Mukalla, Hadramout governorate.
“The disaster destroyed all the canals (irrigation canals), and washed away many of our agricultural lands, and we could not do anything because of our financial situation”, said Abdullah recalling what happened.
Abdullah bemoans the palms and mango trees that have died due to the collapse of the canals. He added, “We resorted to using alternative methods of irrigation, such as generators and hoses to save what could be saved, but our suffering continued due to the high prices of fuel and spare parts”.

With the continuous conflict in Yemen for the sixth consecutive year, the agricultural sector suffers a clear deterioration due to instability, high fuel prices, limited agricultural development projects, as well as import and export challenges that have cast a shadow over small farmers in particular.
With the support of the WFP, the BCHR established a 400-meter-long irrigation canal in Al-Larmi northwest of Mukalla, which enabled Abdullah and a number of farmers to easily irrigate their farms.
Abdullah says, “This project is the dream I have been waiting for a long time. The abundance of water is now better and its access is much faster than before. In the past, we used to only irrigate some trees, but now we water all the crops and expand the cultivation of extra lands.”
“The situation is now good, everything will rise on the farm,” he continued, with joy appearing on his face.
Abdullah hopes to improve his income and make up for the lean years. “On your next visit, we will bring you mangoes,” he said, smiling as he pointed to a nearby mango tree.

Similar to Abdullah, the farmer, Sulaiman Saleh, a farmer from Hajer District or the so-called the Three-Million-Palm Valley, says he is very grateful to the WFP to repair the irrigation canals that collapsed due to the torrential rains in June 2020. “Many palms have drought, after the collapse of the canals. However, after the project, thanks to Allah, water became available in abundance and agriculture flourished again”, Sulaiman added.
The BCHR project manager, Engineer Saleh Bamkhashab, explains that the project worked on rehabilitating irrigation canals and water springs with a length of 24200 LM in the districts of Mukalla, Hajar, Burum Mayfa and Addees, noting that the interventions targeted the areas most affected by the torrents and cyclones that struck the governorate in recent years.
He pointed out that the project contributed to improving food security for 5,000 people, and worked on rehabilitating 43 assets in the fields of agriculture, water, roads and infrastructure, benefiting hundreds of farmers and thousands of people in local communities.