Power stations, infra constructed in Yemen’s Socotra with UAE aid

Abu Dhabi-based Sheikh Khalifa Humanitarian Foundation has provided development aid to the remote Yemeni governorate of Socotra, with power stations being built in the capital of Hadibu, and other smaller stations built in the towns of Qalansiya, Mori, and Alama.

Located approximately 240km east of Somalia and 380 km south of the Yemen coastline, the Socotra governorate has an estimated population of 70,000, with most people living on the island of Socotra itself, which accounts for around 95% of the governorate. Several hundred people live on the small islands of Abd el Kuri and Samha, to the west.

UAE aid has also helped in the installation of underground transmission lines in Hadibu and Qalansiya, with above-ground networks linking Hadibu to nearby agricultural areas. More than 30 remote villages have been supplied with generators, bringing electricity to the people in those areas for the first time.

With a view to promoting sustainability, solar power stations have been installed in Hadibu and Qalansiya, with capacities of 2.2MW and 800KW respectively.

In addition, six water tanks, each with a capacity of 50,000 gallons, have been built in Hadibu, Mori, and other major villages while existing tanks in Hadibu, Qalansiya, and Mori have been sterilised and cleaned. New distribution networks have been laid in several villages, while new artesian wells, each with storage tanks, have been drilled in more than 40 villages.

To improve local transport in Socotra, two storage tanks, each with a capacity of 2 million litres, for petrol and diesel, have been constructed.

Two petrol stations have been built in Hadibu and Qalansaya, with six others currently under construction. A facility to store fuel, all of which is imported, is now being built in Hadibu, along with a pipeline distribution network for major consumers.

Furthermore, supplies for cooking gas have also been increased, with a plant for filling gas cylinders being built. This is expected to have a positive impact on one of the greatest threats to Socotra’s unique and endangered environment – the cutting down of trees for firewood.

The Socotra International Airport has been rebuilt and upgraded, with the provision of new buildings, including two hangars for aircraft, and a modern navigation system for the control tower, along with new facilities for immigration, customs, and emergency services.

A fleet of six remotely-controlled gyrocopters has been introduced, which will be used for search and rescue operations.

Besides aviation traffic, Socotra is also heavily dependent for its external communications on maritime traffic.

The small port at Hoolif, east of Hadibu, has been upgraded, with a new 90m pier and berths dredged to accommodate larger vessels. Marine ferry services have also been introduced to improve the island’s communications.

A fishmarket has also been constructed in Hadibu to support the local fishing industry, one of the main sources of employment.

Work to improve internal communications has included the paving of streets in Hadibu as well as upgrading of an important road linking the north coast, west of Hadibu, across the Diksem Plateau, in the centre of the island, to the southern Nuged district. Repairs have also been carried out on roads damaged in recent cyclones.

The development aid provided to the remote Yemeni governorate of Socotra by the UAE has made a major impact in terms of improving the life of the local population, according to a report made available to the state-run news agency, Wam.

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