Clean Drinking Water for 1250 Villagers in Morocco

 
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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. 

Early stages of construction of the water basin
Early stages of construction of the water basin

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.

70 Villagers now have access to potable water
70 Villagers now have access to potable water
Water in Taroudant
Water in Taroudant

The High Atlas Foundation (HAF) is a Moroccan-US organisation dedicated to participatory development approaches that build partnerships for projects determined by the participating communities themselves. The HAF philosophy is to create an inclusive process that emphasizes the participation of disadvantaged groups and uses methods of community planning towards the realization of development projects. Access to clean water is one of the most serious problems affecting rural communities in Morocco.

There is a rate of 19 per cent of infant mortality in the region where we are implementing this project, four times the national average, and it is directly related to drinking water. We continue to work with the people of rural villages in Taroudant Province – not only to construct infrastructure to provide clean drinking water, but also to help them pursue other dreams and priorities. We are also working in this area on women’s cooperatives, agricultural terracing and irrigation and fruit tree orchards. In addition, we work in other areas of Morocco to transfer this experience to other rural and disadvantaged communities.

The absolute essence of HAF’s work is that communities decide what is in their best interests. In making this decision, HAF facilitates the inclusion of those who might ordinarily be excluded or marginalised and seeks to support the sustainable development of the communities’ rich human resources, in particular women and young people. In training community members to work in participative approaches, the training itself encourages the formulation of ideas, priorities and development projects – as well as ensuring a corps of local leaders trained in techniques necessary for their implementation. In this way, the learning is experiential and participants learn by doing. Although the backbone of the HAF approach has always been participatory development, the Foundation has come a long way from its roots in the High Atlas Mountains and its first tree-planting projects. Wit projects like this one and those which flow from this experience,we are now helping the communities help themselves in eight of Morocco’s 62 Provinces and Prefectures. It is thanks to our many supporters, friends and donors like you that we are able to carry out this important work. Thank you and thanks to GlobalGiving for your commitment to HAF and to the people of Morocco.

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Testing the Irrigation System
Testing the Irrigation System

Imagine for a minute that the water goes off in your home, and that all of your bottled water supply has run out. Imagine now you go to your water company and complain. No answer. You march to your local town council, demanding support. No answer. You hear that they are selling water a few towns over, so you wake up early, take the car and drive an hour each way to bring water. The days begin to pass this way, but you are tired, not feeling well, and barely have the energy to go to work. 

Let's bring this scene to Rhamna Province in Morocco, where water sources are often far from villages. At the same time, Rhamna is vast, sprawling with agricultural potential in its large fields that turn green when it rains. There is no water company to call, the local council has the same issue, and the girls and young women responsible for carrying water can barely dream of having a car, let alone a donkey to help transport water. 

The High Atlas Foundation is so fortunate to have you as a supporter. Thanks to the funds you donate, we can respond to the needs of the communities of Rhamna that are trapped in cyclical poverty because they struggle to have just the basic essentials. Water makes all the difference in terms of productivity, health, time to go to school, agriculture, and livelihoods. 

This period, your donations, along with funding received from the OCP Foundation in Rhamna, have enabled us to build 70% of a water system in Aarabet, a village in Ben Guerir region of Rhamna. We won't stop here. Let's work together to make sure that we can complete this system, and give the people of Aarabet this most basic necessity. 

The impact of your support is HUGE. And we at HAF are so grateful to you. 

Water Tower and Electric Pump Facility
Water Tower and Electric Pump Facility

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Organization

Project Leader

Yossef Ben-Meir

President of the High Atlas Foundation
NYC, NY (US) and Marrakech, Al Haouz (Maroc), Morocco

Where is this project located?

Map of Clean Drinking Water for 1250 Villagers in Morocco