Good day and we hope all is well from the team here at the High Atlas Foundation.
As many of you know, proper water resource management is essential to ensuring sustainable development. Water resource management can improve health and sanitation, provide opportunities to generate income, protect against and improve resilience to natural disasters, etc. Water is the source of life.
It is therefore that the High Atlas Foundation, in collaboration with the Global Diversity Foundation and RESING, are conducting a water management study in the Imegdal commune (Al Haouz province) and Ait M’hamed commune (Azilal province). This study will elaborate an action plan for water resource management, including the inputs of all stakeholders who manage water including the Provincial Direction of Agriculture, Commission of Water and Forests, the Hydraulic Basin Agency and the Equipment and Communal Directions. Field analysis is underway. HAF is looking forward to sharing the action plan once established.
Additionally, our Project Manager Abderrahim Ouarghidi recently participated in a water conference where techniques, guidance and experiences were shared. HAF will continue to ensure that proper water management is conducted for all agricultural infrastructures.
Here at the High Atlas Foundation we are very excited about the direction we plan to go with water projects. We are strongly prioritizing water management projects and looking forward to the life altering development we can provide to Moroccan communities with your support.
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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.
The High Atlas Foundation has partnered with communities in the Tifnoute Valley and in the Ouirgane Commune to design community development projects based upon the needs identified by community members. HAF relies upon a participatory development approach to human development, in which trainers empower the community to identify, develop and management projects to increase household incomes.
In time for World Water Day on March 22nd, the communities of the Tifnoute Valley and in the Ouirgane Commune have designed new land and water management systems, which will provide clean drinking water, create land terraces to expand viable land for planting, and spread knowledge about climate change challenges and share best practices for environmental conservation. These trainings will be underscored with capacity building and other tools that allow communities to respond to socioeconomic challenges.
These projects make way for the planting of new tree nurseries to increase household incomes. Your support helps HAF to deliver training and increase capacities of Morocco’s most remote villages. Thank you for delivering skills and trainings to the families of the Tifnoute Valley and in the Ouirgane Commune.
HAF is now preparing to expand this clean drinking water project to rural schools. Many school children do not have access to clean drinking water throughout the school day which decreases attendance. In this new year, HAF hopes to provide clean drinking water to 10 schools in Rhamna and Youssoufia Provinces which will give thousands of children access to safe water throughout the school day.
Morocco has one of the lowest rural water supplies in North Africa, with approximately 40 percent of its rural inhabitants lacking access to clean drinking water. Thank you for your contribution to this cause. Without support from our GlobalGiving donors and local community partners, many families would still be relying on unsafe drinking water sources, putting their health at risk.
Stay tuned on GlobalGiving and on our website www.highatlasfoundation.org to learn about this upcoming project. While we continue to work with the 1250 Villages in the Tifnoute Valley, we are excited to begin expanding this clean water initative throughout rural Morocco.
Thanks to our partners at Global Giving (YOU!) and other local and international partners, HAF supported the construction of a water basin for a village of 70 people in rural Morocco in the Beni Mellal Province.
Clean-drinking water first and foremost eliminates risks of water-born illness that contribute to high infant mortality rates in rural communities such as Ait Oum El Bakht. But it does so much more. With a nearby water source, girls and young women are liberated from the daily duty of transporting water multiple times a day from distance sources, enabling more time for education, economic productivity, and leisure.
A year ago, at the start of the participatory process and assessment, HAF and its local partners identified the need for a water basin in the commune of Ait Oum El Bakht, where a village of 70 people had no access to clean drinking water.
Here’s how it happened: The community worked together to identify an area of communal land on which the basin could be constructed. Next, through a community meeting and vote, a local project leader who oversaw the construction process was identified. Male community members donated their labor and time to construct the water basin over twenty-two days. A local expert offered his skills in kind to oversee the construction process, which was accomplished very quickly, thanks to the will of community members toactively engage.
While we are so pleased to have contributed to the construction of this water basin, there is still more to be done. We hope to create a network of piping to bring water to each household in the village, which requires a strong pump, piping, and labor (which is always donated in kind by community members as their contribution to the project).
We hope you will continue to partner as we continue to develop and expand this project and others like it. Thank you.
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President of the High Atlas Foundation
NYC, NY (US) and Marrakech, Al Haouz (Maroc),