High Atlas Foundation

The High Atlas Foundation (HAF) is a Moroccan association and a U.S. 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization founded in 2000 by former Peace Corps Volunteers, and is dedicated to participatory grassroots human development in disadvantaged areas in Morocco, mostly rural. HAF received United Nations Special Consultative Status in 2011. HAF's team is comprised mostly of Moroccans with some international members. Using a participatory approach, HAF works to establish development projects in Morocco that local communities design and manage, and that are in partnership with government and non-government agencies. HAF is committed to facilitating, and training facilitators in, the participatory approac...
Jun 30, 2014

Potable Water Vital for Community Development

A Woman Enjoys Clean Drinking Water
A Woman Enjoys Clean Drinking Water

In Morocco, seventy percent of rural communities lack accessibility to clean drinking water. This shortage is a huge burden on communities—particularly on women and girls who often are the ones fetching water—contributing to high infant mortality rates, shortening their lifespan, and stunting potential community development. Communities lack the institutional and organizational capacities to collaborate with government agencies or NGO’s to address this problem. HAF, through providing the necessary infrastructure, partners with these communities to bring sustainable change. Beyond providing clean drinking water sources, communities need to be educated on water sanitation as means to ensure these new water sources stay uncontaminated .Through training community members in water sanitation management and conducting community workshops related to personal hygiene, HAF promotes durable development.

This water sanitation project, which targets the relatively isolated Toubkal province in the High Atlas Mountains, has made notable progress. In the past five months we have installed two potable water basins brining clean water to new communities. Additionally we have been able to install new water irrigation systems, which are equally important to sustaining a major part of communities’ livelihood—fruit trees or medicinal plants. These irrigation systems promote community development through improving individual households’ incomes. Thanks to your generous support we have been able to make noticeable headway in providing communities with vital infrastructural support. 

Jun 30, 2014

Irrigation and Potable Water Sources

Drip Irrigation System
Drip Irrigation System

Throughout Morocco HAF is committed to creating green economic growth as means to lift rural farmers out of poverty and increase household revenues. In turn, improved incomes can be reinvested into communities to support sustainable development.  Through employing a community participatory approach, HAF partners with communities to identify their greatest needs. This approach facilitates the implementation of projects as it sets up communities as central agents in their own development.

HAF’s projects related to irrigation systems for fruit tree or medicinal plant nurseries, such as in Azilal or Taroudant, fits into this method of sustainable development as it exposes farmers to organic agricultural methods and helps to diversify their sources of income.  While these communities identified irrigation as a priority, HAF provided the infrastructure needed to meet this need. In the past five months HAF has made exciting headway in these two provinces:

  1. In Azilal HAF installed two drip irrigation systems as well as one potable water basin
  2. In Taroudant HAF finished building three irrigation systems—the first serving over 300 people—and one potable basin.

The irrigation systems have provided the necessary resource, water, to both maintain community nurseries, and support the development of communities. Connected to this project, the installation of potable water basins supplied clean water to communities. Thanks to your generous support HAF has been able to expand the scope of its irrigation system projects and make a real difference in Morocco’s agricultural communities. 

Jun 30, 2014

Creating a Green Economy one Briquette at a Time

High Atlas Agricultural and Artisanal (HA3) partners with farmers across Morocco to transform its agricultural system.  Through replacing subsistence farming with a green economy—training farmers in organic agricultural methods and providing the infrastructure needed for this transition—HA3 lifts farmers out of poverty and paves the way for sustainable development.

 The clean energy briquettes are a vital component to forging a green economy and embody HA3’s commitment to no waste.  Converting agricultural waste such as walnut husks, fallen leaves, and sawdust, into briquettes provides rural households alternative sources for energy other than wood. Using the provinces of Al Houaz and Taroudant to implement pilot programs, HA3 teaches local farmers how to recycle materials so that they, in turn, can produce briquettes that can be used in the local communities  as well as sold in both the national as well as international markets. Additionally, the versatility in ingredients used to construct the briquettes enables the project to easily be adopted across Morocco’s differing landscapes.  Here are some the project’s impacts:

  1. Reduction in household pollution
  2. Decrease in agricultural waste
  3. Prevention and reduction of deforestation
  4. Increases rural entrepreneurship
  5. Diversification of income
  6. Augments young girls school attendance as they are often the ones fetching wood

Thanks to your partnership HAF has been able to foster sustainable development and make notable progress towards transforming rural Morocco into a zero waste society.

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