Fifteen million people in Yemen are at risk of deadly diseases such as cholera after their water supplies have been severely cut, Oxfam has warned.
A fuel crisis has seen prices soar, meaning piped water systems and water trucking routes have not been able to run at full capacity leading to the severe water shortages.
The lack of clean water will lead to the spread of waterborne diseases such as cholera, the group said.
War-ravaged Yemen has already seen the worst epidemic of cholera in recorded history.
The World Health Organisation said in September it had registered more than 1 million suspected cases and nearly 1,500 associated deaths across 22 of the country’s 23 governorates since the fighting erupted.
Oxfam blamed the lack of fuel on warring parties “using the economy as a weapon of war” as both sides of the conflict, the recognised Yemeni government and the Houthi rebels, have placed restrictions on imports.
“This weaponisation of the Yemeni economy is yet another cruelty inflicted on the people of Yemen who have been forced to endure four years of conflict,” Muhsin Siddiquey, Oxfam’s Yemen country director, said in a statement.
“All sides need to end the restrictions being imposed on importers so that fuel can once again reach the country unimpeded.”
Yemen, one of the world’s most water-scarce countries, has been torn apart by an increasingly complex civil war which erupted in 2015 when the Iran-backed Houthi rebels swept control of the country ousting the recognised president, Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi.
Saudi Arabia and its Gulf allies launched a bombing campaign to reinstate their ally Mr Hadi, but five years on there is little hope of an end to the conflict. (Source: Independent UK)