The Al-Haswa Reserve, which won an award from the United Nations in 2014, is no longer a suitable place for families in Yemen. The picturesque nature that was a destination for tourism and entertainment has turned into a deserted place where killers have to get rid of. upon it stand the bodies of their dead, and a gloomy place that smells of sewage and crows.
At first glance, the reserve looks like the nature of its location near the sea and the extraordinary landscape it offers in the center of the city of Aden, as an ideal place to tempt you to enter and walk. But the work is not as you see from afar, the green space, which in the past was an attractive area for residents, has turned into a lonely place that everyone rejects.
The pungent smell of sewage is the first thing that awaits you at the ruined entrance of the sanctuary, where only a faded billboard and an abandoned ticket building remain.
The most obvious thing about the reserve are the streams that constantly flow from the strong smell of sewage, and the stagnant ponds that have been piled up by insects, along with the cut branches of trees and the remnants of waste and building materials that are scattered everywhere. Vendi.
And the Yemeni government officially declared Al-Haswa – which covers an area of 189 hectares – a nature reserve in 2006, and at the height of its activity in 2014, the reserve won the “Equator” award among 26 countries worldwide by The United Nations, which honors the efforts made to protect biodiversity and promote green tourism.
The reserve was considered one of the most beautiful and famous tourist attractions in Aden, and receives more than 50,000 visitors a year, and is a habitat for migratory and endemic birds and endangered organisms, but its activity was stopped and stopped. became a neglected place after the explosion. of the war in Yemen in early 2015.
Bassam Hadi, a 30-year-old resident of the area, recalls how the Al-Haswah Protectorate was considered a tourist front and an outlet for many families.
Hadi adds for Al Jazeera Net, “Everything in it was made of palm trees and leaves, like chairs and resting places, and took large flocks of migratory birds and included an observation tower and a museum, but its situation worsened after the war. until it was desolate, and all that was within it was destroyed. “
The reserve appears today, and has lost many of its former features, and negligence has struck large parts of its green spaces and beautiful gardens, and the number of birds and animals in it has diminished and is ranked among the most famous . abandoned sites in the city of Aden, which offers a safe haven for crime enthusiasts due to distance from sight.
About a month ago the decomposing body of an unidentified person was discovered and police discovered that the victim had been shot to death before dumping the body in the reserves burying it superficially, which allowed the dogs to exhume the body and begin. to swallow some of its parts.
Over the past years, dozens of bodies of victims of individual killings and mass executions were found, especially in December 2015, when security authorities in Aden announced that 11 bodies had been found, some of them beheaded, the most horrific process in the Al Protectorate of Al -Haswah.
Destruction of the Al-Haswah Protectorate
Many factors eliminated this reserve, most notably the decline in financial support after the outbreak of the war and the conversion of part of its area into a landfill, in addition to the depletion of green space by locals in livestock grazing, deforestation operations and cutting down trees.
But the biggest problem, according to the director of the Department of Natural Resources in Yemen, Salem Basis, is the emergence of significant pollution within the Al-Haswa Reserve, due to the lack of maintenance of wastewater treatment basins and their system. related since 2015., in addition to the presence of violations on the reserve land.
Bassis told Al Jazeera Net that “the reserve relied on treated wastewater, but the treatment units were disrupted and the lands belonging to the treatment project (within the reserve) were seized, which led to the disruption of ways to maintain the system. treatment for this water. “
He added, “Water is now flowing directly into the reserve land without treatment and these streams have turned into smelly swamps.”