The High Atlas Foundation is in the process of securing funding for several new drinking water projects, but in the meantime, we took time to celebrate World Water Day on March 22, 2015 and all of the projects that HAF conducts to secure access to clean and safe drinking water for rural communities and schools in Morocco.
HAF has provided 19 clean drinking water systems over the last several years, benefitting 4,000 villagers. The benefits of access to clean and safe water are enormous: for every one dollar spent on water and sanitation there is a four dollar economic return. According to the World Health Organization, only 20 liters (approximately 5.2 gallons) of water per person per day is enough to provide for basic hygiene and food hygiene needs.
Through Sami’s Project, HAF works to make sure there is access to water in schools because this access, to both drinking water and bathroom facilities, which is key to increasing girl’s participation in education. The Brookings Institution has shown that increasing girls’ participation in education not only decreases later infant mortality, but also allows women to gain earning power and be part of the labor force. In 85 Moroccan schools, we are working to create a more comfortable, sustainable environment.
In HAF’s work in agriculture, water is also a vital factor. Efficient irrigation and use of water is important in creating sustainable agriculture in the arid mountain environments where we work. By 2050, according to the UN, developing countries will need to produce 100% more agriculturally to meet demand driven by urbanization and population growth. Efficient use of water resources will be a vital part of this.
One community and one solution at a time, HAF is working on solutions to these problems posed on World Water Day. We thank you for your support and hope that we can continue to partner to improve the lives of rural Moroccan families!
The Federation of Civil Society Associations of Ourika includes seven associations. We at HAF appreciate their dedication and so we would like to mention them individually:
• Afoulki Association for Development
• Association Noor for Development
• Association Asrou for Development
• Association Fam Lhari
• Association Koji for Solidarity and Development
• Tifawin Association for Development
• Oulad yahya Association
They organized a day around the conservation of clean drinking water in Azaghar Milk Coop in the Ourika commune of the Al Haouz province.
Two of HAF’s team members, Fatima-Zahra Laaribi and Fatima Baamrani, attended the meeting to learn about the project and to share information about HAF’s projects around Morocco.
Fatima-Zahra shares her reflection of the day: After been introduced, I provided a general view about HAF’s mission, achievements and activities in nine provinces of Morocco. Fatima Baamrani talked about the Toubkal project in details and organic certification, which was secured for 300 hectares of walnuts and almonds – a first for the mountain region that produces 35% of Morocco walnuts. In relation to water projects we mentioned, that HAF built 18 drinking water systems in rural villages because water has always been a top priority and life-sustaining, and is essential to the survival of all other organisms.
After that, Mr. Moubark Alioui the president of an IT association called “The Users of Free Computer sciences Techniques Association” to share their presentation about the IT project to manage the sector of water as well as the administrative management of the associations. The objective behind this presentation is to raise awareness and to build the capacities for the management of water within each association.
The presentation was followed by exchanges of views as well as a delivery of statements. Thus most of the associations discussed problems and challenges that they faced in this sector.
At the end, most of the associations asked for significant training in this sector and gave positive feedback.
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.
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President of the High Atlas Foundation
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