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The port city of Aden. Picture courtesy of Middle East Eye

Saudis and Yemenites join hands to beautify Yemeni capital

The Saudi Development and Reconstruction Program for Yemen (SDRPY) launched a program late March aimed at beautification, environmental sanitation and cleaning of the Yemini city of Aden. The 3-month initiative, called ‘Beautiful Aden’, will be carried out in cooperation with the Cleaning and Improvement Fund in Aden (CIFA).

By Emad Aysha (PhD)
The port city of Aden is currently the internationally recognized capital of Yemen since the Houthi rebels forced president Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi to leave Sana’a in 2015. As of that moment a Saudi-UAE led military coalition, allied with Hadi’s government, intervened in the conflict. The war has killed tens of thousands of people, destroyed large parts of the infrastructure and polluted the environment. According to the most recent Human Rights Watch report the armed conflict has resulted in the largest humanitarian crisis in the world.

To turn the tide the joint cooperation agreement was signed between SDRPY and CIFA. In the initiative new greenery will be planted, graffiti erased and streetlights throughout the city repaired. In January the SDRPY already launched a project to rehabilitate and upgrade Aden International Airport.

SDRPY is to provide at least 22 bulldozers and garbage trucks, along with over 200 rubbish bins. All are geared towards removing up to 9,000 cubic meters of accumulated waste from streets and public areas. The destruction of the country’s waste management system has been an international concern for years. As for the new initiative’s green strategy, over 500 non-water-consuming seedlings will be planted in line with the sustainability targets.

In a separate statement SDRYP clarified that this initiative, like those before it, is also aimed at creating jobs in the voluntary and charity sectors. This new initiative has already enlisted the help of over 300 citizens, 12 field monitors, 80 participants from civil society organizations, and 40 individuals from local farms.

For his part SDRPY delegation head Mohammed bin Abdullah Al Hadi said that in addition to afforestation and rehabilitation of vital roads in Aden the initiative was meant to maintain the cleanliness of the province and increase awareness of achievements for the health of the members of the community. He further explained that the beautification campaign is taking place within the context of the development program in Yemen, as an extension of the projects that have received attention, and as an embodiment of the deep relationship between the two countries.

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