“Many rural citizens are very angry with the government neglecting them and the infrastructural deficit. Their frustration is observable on their faces,” said 37-year-old teacher Fadel Ateeg Mahdi.
“I visited my village recently to attend a burial ceremony of a friend in Damt district. There were several things that caught my attention during the ceremony including people stealing soup.” He added, “when I asked why would someone steal something as cheap as drinking soup, he replied, people in rural areas are hungry and poor.”
No Sign of Development
Matters which are expected to be essential parts of life like electricity and water are not available in most rural areas across the country. Even in places where they are available, they are either not apporpiate or not enough. “Locals in rural areas have no access to sink water as most of them depend entirely on the brownish and heavily polluted water from nearby wells,” said local council member Abdul Karim Farie. “Even with the unbearable dirt coming from it, they drink from there, brush their teeth with it and fetch some for cooking,” he added.
Sana’a and other major cities have literally become theaters for major state projects, while rural areas, where a majority of citizens reside, continue to get poorer by the day. Government treats rural areas as non priority, therefore, making living standards there very difficult.
Waste of Millions of Petrodollars
Over the last twenty years, the government has been accused of financial irresponsibility. Several petitions have been written by citizens to anti-corruption agencies alleging forms of minor and major corruption.
However, sources confirmed that any act taken by the government was only a passive tool to deceive the public and hide corruption from the eyes of the international community as they loot public resources.
Meanwhile, energy experts together with the World Bank expect that Yemen’s oil and gas revenues will crash down over the next two years, something they say the country’s hopes will get worse every month and could be a tragedy.
The Impossibility of Investment
Over the last two years, the government has been trying to expand investment in different sectors, but due to the continious unrest the country has been facing, nothing has been accomplished.
Prices also soared more than any country in the region over the last five years, therefore, causing people to become a time bomb waiting to explode.
The World Bank Doing Business Report 2010 indicated that Yemen is one of the most difficult places to start a business due mainly to bureaucratic harassment, insecurity and other issues.
The government is facing a financial crisis, and Saudi Arabia is not willing anymore to fund the Yemeni war against Houthis, something they say the Yemeni government had no options other than to invest on the Al-Qaeda case.
MP Sheikh Hameed Al-Ahmer, who is believed to enjoy enormous support in rural areas, and whose entry to the political area was greeted by many southerners, broadcasted live last week on different channels saying that President Saleh must be prosecuted for corrupting the country.
“Judging by recent events, Yemen is a political time bomb waiting to happen, sadly under the nose of President Saleh,” said Director of HOOD Human Rights Organization, lawyer Mohammed Naji Allaw.
Yemeni Socialist Party YSP’s Secretary General, Yasseen Saeed Naman, described the ruling party’s choice to hold elections alone as an unwise option, adding that this would raise tension in the country.
The Preparatory Committee for National Dialogue called for mobilizing the people’s struggle and instantly organizing protests, something it says citizens will mark (2011) as the year of peaceful struggle until achieving victory. It also called on all forces to escalate popular protests in provinces throughout the country.
In a two day meeting held last week, the Southern Movement celebrated the January 13 to announce the reconciliation over the 1986 violent struggle began in Aden between Ali Nasser and Abdul Fattah Ismail. Most of those who attended were residents from rural areas who have nothing to lose due to the government’s lack of projects in the south.
They told the Yemen Post once Sana’a regime had systematically discriminated against the south, looting their land and starving them, they would struggle until it made a different flag appeared in old independent state of the South Yemen.