The Governorate of Al-Baydha is located in central Yemen and is 267 kilometers south of Sana’a. The governorate has 20 districts. The city of Al-Baydha is the governorate capital. The governorate has special significance for its location in the center of Yemen. It has shared borders with eight other Yemeni governorates: Marib, Shabwah, Lahj, Al-Dhalea, Ibb, Dhamar, and Sana’a.

Al-Baydha governorate information

Districts of Al-Baydha: Na'man, Nati', Maswarah, As Sawma'ah, Az Zahir, Dhi Na'im, At Taffah, Mukayras, Al Bayda City, Al Bayda, As Sawadiyah, Radman Al Awad, Rada', Al Quraishyah, Wald Rabi', Al A'rsh, Sabah, Ar Ryashyyah, Ash Sharyah, Al Malagim.

Map of Al-Baydha


Economy

Agriculture is the main economic activity in the governorate. Al-Baydha produces about 2.6% of the total agricultural output of Yemen. The most important products are vegetables and cash crops. Al-Baydha governorate produces handicrafts, such as agricultural tools, Janbiyas, textiles, wool, silver, and weapons. The governorate is home to a number of minerals in commercial quantities (Titanium, glass sand, and silica) that are not commercially mined. There are a number of historic landmarks and tourist attractions.1https://www.yemenna.com/index.php?go=guide&op=show&link=bida.

According to the 2014 Local Authority Budget, governorate revenues derived largely from grants and central subsidies (93%), with local revenues accounting for the remainder (7%).2Please see the appendix for further information on different types of revenue. The most significant local revenues derive from shared local resources and taxes, specifically revenue from zakat and taxes on qat, goods and services, income, profits, and capital gains. The governorate also derives revenue from ownership, sales of goods and services, and from penalties and fines. As elsewhere, these revenues were adversely impacted by the war and Al-Baydha is the site of an active conflict front line, causing major economic challenges for the governorate.3Republic of Yemen, Ministry of Finance, Budget Sector: estimated local authority budget for the 2014 fiscal year. As the governorate falls predominantly under the control of the de facto authorities, the establishment of a central authority for zakat in Sana’a and the decision to change zakat revenue from a local revenue to a central revenue has meant that the governorate lost one of its most important revenue streams.

According the 2014 Household Budget Survey, the poverty rate in Al-Baydha was 39.2%. With the economic downturn the governorate has faced due to the war, it is likely that the current rate is far higher.


Local governance

The local council in Al-Baydha comprises 20 members and the governor. Currently, there are two members who have passed away, two who are living outside the governorate for political reasons, and two who are suffering from poor health. As a result, the actual membership of the council stands at 14. Due to the war, the local council has not convened a meeting since 2015 and its work has been taken over by the governor. The administrative board of the local council is similarly inactive and has not been invited to meet since the outbreak of the war.

The local administration (executive) is struggling with adverse conditions as their main headquarters in the governorate (the government complex) was destroyed in fighting. The destruction of the headquarters has obstructed the work of some executive offices, which used the space, as well as the local council, which met on the premises.

Currently, the majority of the executive offices in the governorate are operating at minimum capacity due to the destruction of their offices and the absence of financial resources.4Interview with one of the leaders of the local council, Al-Baydha. March 2019. Salaries have been replaced with minimal stipends and there is very little revenue for operations or investment. The escalation of military confrontations in a number of districts has also exacerbated the situation and obstructed the work of the local authority. The population relies mainly on civil society organizations to access humanitarian assistance.5Badr Basalamah, Local Governance in Yemen; Challenges and Opportunities, Berghof Foundation Operations GmbH, Germany, May 2018, p. 9.


Access to basic services

With regard to the humanitarian situation, there are nearly 500,000 people, or approximately 65% of the population, in need of assistance in Al-Baydha. Twenty percent of them are in dire need.6OCHA Humanitarian Response Plan for Yemen 2018.

Health services in hospitals and public health facilities are available at minimum capacity and mainly supported by international organizations. However, such services are insufficient to meet the needs of the local population. Many, especially those with financial means, resort to private hospitals and health centers to access healthcare services.7Interview with one of the leaders of the local council, Sana’a capital city. March 2019.

According to OCHA, fighting in Al-Baydha damaged 64 schools.8OCHA, Overview of the Humanitarian Needs in Yemen 2018. As it falls under control of Ansar Allah, Al-Baydha is one of the governorates where teachers have not been paid their monthly salaries.9Economic and Social Developments Newsletter, Issue No.30, December 2017 published by the Studies and Economic Forecast Sector of the Ministry of Planning. This has disrupted education. There have been attempts to revive some of the schools in the governorate through fees, whereby each student would make a small monthly payment for the provision of educational services, but this has not produced tangible results.

As for drinking water, in 2016/17, the majority (59%) of households in Al-Baydha did not have ready access to potable water. With regard to sanitation, a sewage system exists only for some neighborhoods of Al-Baydha City and in Rada’a. Moreover, the system is subject to breakdown and local authorities must carry out the repairs with very limited resources.10Interview with one of the leaders of the local council, Sana’a capital city. March 2019.

 


Demographics

District Size (km2) Population (Female) Population (Male) Population (Total)
Na’man 272 5,639 6,469 12,108
Nati’ 348 8,351 9,519 17,87
Maswarah 751 4,559 4,782 9,341
As Sawma’ah 957 30,167 29,271 59,438
Az Zahir 233 17,376 16,27o 33,646
Dhi Na’im 185 17,356 16,507 33,863
At Taffah 165 18,427 18,091 36,518
Mukayras 1,153 28,572 26,265 54,838
Al Bayda City 306 18,669 20,547 39,216
Al Bayda 476 27,751 25,172 52,923
As Sawadiyah 732 17,433 17,696 35,128
Radman Al Awad 233 13,233 13,236 26,469
Rada’ 306 34,816 38,897 73,713
Al Quraishyah 476 19,342 19,882 39,224
Wald Rabi’ 476 12,638 13,168 25,806
Al A’rsh 476 30,04 30,500 60,54
Sabah 476 18,469 17,545 36,014
Ar Ryashyyah 476 15,681 14,300 29,98
Ash Sharyah 476 21,952 22,881 44,833
Al Malagim 306 19,529 19,003 38,532
TOTAL 9,279 380,000 380,001 760,000

Figures are 2017 Yemen Central Statistical Organization projections based on the 2004 census.


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