“Now I feel I am a human being with dignity” – Aish, a displaced person in Yemen
Yemen is in the midst of a severe humanitarian crisis that has left millions of people in need of urgent assistance, including shelter, food, and clean water. Internally displaced persons (IDPs) are among the most vulnerable, having been forced to flee their homes and often living in overcrowded camps with limited resources. The lack of latrines in these camps poses a significant health risk, as the absence of proper sanitation facilities can lead to the spread of diseases.
Aish, a female, 60-year-old Yemeni who was displaced from Bani Al-Hassan area in Abs district, Hajja governorate, due to the ongoing conflict in Yemen. Along with many others, she and one of her sons with his family fled the area with no clear destination in mind, driven only by a desperate need for survival.
For women like Aish, the day of their displacement was a traumatic experience that they will never forget.
"When the bombing reached Bani Al-Hassan area, we were all terrified, and we had to leave everything behind, including our money, furniture, and personal belongings. Our only concern was to escape and be safe," Aish recalls.
"The day of displacement was the worst day of my life. I will never forget the fear that we experienced that day."
Aisha arrived at Al-Merdah camp in Hodeidah, where she found a lack of essential services, most notably latrines. Each family in the camp had to share a latrine, with no facilities specifically designated for women.
Most of the families designed their latrines from a few tree branches erected beside the tents and covered with tarpaulin, which quickly deteriorated during storms. The constant changing of the location, due to waste accumulation, made the area a breeding ground for insects and diseases.
With the support of the European Union, the Danish Refugee Council (DRC) was able to install 350 latrines in Al Merdah camp, including 30 latrines designed for disabled persons.
Each family in the camp now has access to a latrine with lighting. In constructing the latrines, DRC prioritized family privacy as well as gender and cultural appropriateness, and safety, especially for girls and women.
Aish says, "Now I feel I am a human being with dignity because we now have latrines suitable for human use. I would like to thank the organisation that provided us with latrines, which improved our situation as displaced persons."