UPDATE: Clean Drinking Water System Planning and Implementing in the Zaouit Village
Their participatory planning process has transitioned from planning to implementation of a village-based clean drinking water system in the village of Zaouit in the Tifnoute Valley, which was a project identified during an experiential training program in facilitation of participatory community planning. The project is locally driven, the community provided the labor in kind for implementation, and Global Visions agreed to fund the purchase of materials. The fact that the training process is resulting into a vital human development project, further built the skills of 3 facilitators by being involved in continuing aspects of the project development cycle.
By giving the people of Zaouit and the field facilitators the opportunity this program provides to plan projects and develop skills, a vital human necessity (clean drinking water) is being addressed. According to official data, water access in rural areas in Morocco increased from 14% in 1995 to 77% in 2006, while survey data from WHO and UNICEF for about that same period showed that access to house connections increased from 10% to 20%, and access to an improved water source remained constant at 58%. A plausible way to explain the seeming inconsistency in this data, which is also consistent with HAF’s observations in the field, is the following: the majority of rural Moroccan villages experience relatively modest advances toward building a complete potable water delivery system from existing water sources. This explanation certainly applies to the villages of the High Atlas Mountains, and the communities with whom HAF currently partners in 6 provinces in different parts of Morocco. Unhealthy drinking water causes frighteningly high infant mortality (many families in the High Atlas have lost two or more children to water-borne diseases), shorter life spans and reduced energy for livelihoods. Further, time spent to procure non-potable water (in addition to fuel wood) is a hard burden on women and girls, which prevents their participation in education. A 2001 World Bank survey showed that girls’ enrollment in school increased 16% in communities that benefited from the installation of clean drinking water systems.
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President of the High Atlas Foundation
NYC, NY (US) and Marrakech, Al Haouz (Maroc),