Ten trailblazing Yemeni women have overcome scepticism and ridicule to bring electricity to their villages, illuminating lives with a micro-grid solar business that they hope to expand across their war-torn region.
In a conservative country wracked by hunger and poverty amid a devastating war that has destroyed most infrastructure, 36-year-old Iman Hadi and her burqa-clad colleagues are achieving what many would have thought unthinkable.
Hadi has been managing the all-female Friends of the Environment Station in the rebel-held area of Abs, northwest of the capital Sanaa, since 2019.
Equipped with six solar power grids, the station is the only source of electricity for dozens of houses in several villages.
Hadi said the idea started when the women imagined what they could do to help ease the impact of war on the poorest country in the Arabian Peninsula.
'We were able to make many people happy by connecting their houses to electricity,' said Hadi, wearing the all-covering robe and well-worn gloves as she sat behind her desk in a makeshift structure at the station.
The station, one of three in the country but the only run by an all-female crew, started with 20 houses. Today, it powers twice that number.
Tens of thousands have been killed since 2014 in the conflict, which pits the Iran-backed Houthi rebels against an internationally recognised government supported by a Saudi-led military coalition.
Hospitals, businesses and electricity plants have been destroyed or shuttered, amid severe fuel shortages that force many to work by candlelight.
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