War Turns Sana'a and Dhamar into Ghost Towns

A number of Yemeni cities now turned into ruins and ghost towns. Lack of food, fuel, water, and electricity poses an imminent danger for the Yemenis.

War Turns Sana'a and Dhamar into Ghost Towns' photo
Children become the most vulnerable victims of the conflict. Millions of Yemeni children have been suffering from malnutrition. The war has made the prices of basic needs in Yemen skyrocketed. (ACTNews)

ACTNews, SANA'AA, DHAMAR – The conflict in Yemen has led to a large number of deserted and ruined buildings. A ghost town, as the locals call it. Since the war erupted in, there have been a number of areas that can no longer be inhabited due to massive destruction.  “There were 200 people here but now it’s just ghosts," said Mustafa al Adel (22), pointing to the second floor of one of the detention centers in Dhamar, North Yemen, as reported by The Guardian last September.

The overnight attack on Dhamar on 1 September was the deadliest so far this year, according to the Yemen Data Project. Yemen Data Project also recorded seven attacks on the last day of August, injuring 206 civilians and killing 156. From 2015 to 31 October 2019, the Yemen Data Project noted 20,273 attacks had occurred.

Not only Dhamar, since 2015, the city of Sana’a has also been deserted. The raging conflict has also destroyed many facilities in this city. No electricity, fuel, and food is available.


Many Yemeni civilians have been displaced because their homes were destroyed. (ACTNews)

The World Food Agency (WFP) said 15.9 million people in Yemen wake up hungry every day. Based on a December 2018 survey, Reliefweb said 76 percent of Yemen's total population faces a life-threatening food scarcity.

Additionally, in some areas water is only available once every two weeks. Power outages can last for hours in a day, not to mention the widespread fuel shortage. A serious escalation of violence in Yemen puts millions of children in danger.

Even those who survive, including the Yemeni children, are still haunted by an uncertain future. International Rescue Committee said, at the current rate of decline, it will take 20 years to return Yemen to pre-crisis levels of child hunger, which were already among the worst in the world.

Andi Noor Faradiba from Global Humanity Response (GHR) - ACT said that according to a report by ACT partners in Yemen, the high number of malnourished children in Yemen is also influenced by the diseases from which the children have been suffering. Cholera is one of the diseases that spread among Yemeni children.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), Yemen has experienced two waves of cholera outbreak. The first wave occurred between October 2016 to April 26, 2017. At that time, there were 25,800 reported cases of cholera suspects and 129 deaths due to this outbreak. The second wave occurred on April 27, 2017 with 1,336 million reported cases of cholera and 2,641 deaths until November of the same year.

ACT also provides free medical services for war-affected communities in Sana'a, especially in the Hamdan District. "The program is intended for children, pregnant and breastfeeding women," Faradiba said. []

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