Waste-to-Energy Plant Project

Coverage Tuban City, Lahj Governorate
Duration 24 months 
Budget US$ 500,000
Focus Area Solar Energy and Climate Security 
Partners (International) Funded by Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) through the UNDP SDG Climate Facility project and co-funded by and the European Union(EU) through the Supporting Resilient Livelihoods and Food Security in Yemen Joint Programme (ERRY JP II).
Partners (National) Sehab Tech and Environment Protection Authority (EPA)
Project Manager Arvind Kumar 
Project Document Download Project Proposal 

Project Summary

As the compounding effects of water scarcity, violent conflict, disease epidemics, large-scale displacement, and rising unemployment continue to worsen in Yemen, the already highly vulnerable communities now also face an increase in climate-induced disasters, including extreme drought and flooding, sea level rise, changes in rainfall patterns and increasing temperatures.

As a result of the climate crisis and the protracted conflict, there has also been a breakdown in solid waste management capacities that have led to significant public health risks as well as extremely low supply of electricity to both households and the public services that serve these communities.

The devastating unemployment crisis also threatens to deepen poverty levels – with an estimated 81 per cent of Yemenis already living below the poverty line – as well as stifle security, economic and social progress.

UNDP’s Waste to Energy (WtE) pilot project is a small-scale, off-grid, and decentralized system that turns a range of household and agriculture waste into gas to generate electricity. It focuses on vulnerable communities by ensuring the creation of employment opportunities while also enhancing climate security on the ground. The WtE plant is dependent upon solid waste collected by community-oriented organizations (cooperatives for example) and managed by micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) who operate a network of ‘cash for trash’ points. There is longevity and sustainability built into these livelihoods as long as the WtE plant operates.

In addition, by removing solid waste from the streets and public spaces, residents will enjoy a cleaner and healthier living environment. They will also benefit from the plant’s energy supply which will be a more affordable, stable and reliable alternative to public supply or generators, serving key public services such as healthcare clinics, schools, and more.


This pilot project will enhance the climate security of Yemen's vulnerable and marginalized communities by demonstrating innovative off-grid waste-to-energy models. The model used provides sustainable employment opportunities while also protecting the environment and providing a sustainable energy supply from the treatment of local waste.

This will contribute to enabling cleaner and healthier living conditions by removing human health risks from uncontrolled waste in the streets and by providing increased energy supply to essential public services in underserved communities that are prone to climate-induced displacement.

Expected Results

  • Improved access to capital for recovering MSMEs with greater potential for job and income generation within the sectors of solid waste collection, energy distribution and WtE operations.
  • Enhanced collaboration between private sector networks, MSMEs and local authorities at district and national level under Connecting Business Initiative (CBI) for business resilience.


  • Waste to Energy Plant operationalized in Lahj. 
  • 30 MSMEs engaged in the management of WtE business solution, including in the operation of ‘cash for trash’ points, sorting, drying and transforming waste.


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