Yemeni officials are increasingly concerned about environmental hazards in the country, saying Hurricane Daniel that hit the Libyan city of Derna this month has raised the possibility of similar disasters in Yemen in light of poor urban planning and infrastructure.
The Office of Agriculture and Irrigation in the temporary capital Aden recently warned that the disasters in Libya could be repeated in the areas of Bir Hassan and Huswah in the Aden governorate, and also in the Lahj governorate, where a number of residences are built near the Wadi Tuban stream.
Also, the Office said environmental risks are more possible after the road linking Al-Alam to Al-Husseini, which extends around the Lahj governorate from the east towards the north, was turned into a dam to direct the flow of water to nearby villages and to the city of Aden.
It then called on the Governor of Aden to quickly intervene before “a disaster occurs.”
The Office said the Governor should coordinate with the local authority in Lahj Governorate, and with the ministries of Agriculture and Irrigation, and Fish Wealth to take the necessary measures to avoid any future disasters.
Meanwhile, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation, Ahmed Al-Zamki, said he and the competent authorities are concerned about an impending environmental disaster in Yemen.
He told Asharq Al-Awsat that the ministry expects a flood to occur soon in the region, which witnessed a similar disaster more than 40 years ago.
It is scientifically known that floods have a frequency of 40 to 50 years, Al-Zamki stated.
“In recent years, rain has begun to fall in unprecedented abundance, which portends a disaster,” he said.
The Yemeni official added that water flows take their course over thousands of years, and any intervention to obstruct or change their course could lead to floods along the sides of valleys and streams, and therefore causing damage and disasters.