Jul 2, 2012

May 2012 report from the field: planting with school children

May 2012 report from the field :

Olive tree planting with schools in Rhamna region, Ben Guerir province


With the objective to raise consciousness of the school children and teachers toward their environment, this project used educational materials and programs to change the way children view their relationship with the environment. Teachers, local nonprofit community groups and the department of education collaborated to choose 4 schools, based on availability of water, oversight, available land for planting, and interest expressed by the teachers in the region’s schools.

As part of this initiative, 90 olive trees were planted at 3 of the schools.

Besides teaching about the environment, such programs are very important because these rural children learn from an early age how to plant, care for and appreciate the value of trees and what the trees can provide them and their families when cared for properly. These programs create future stewards of the land.

Jul 2, 2012

May 2012 updates

May 2012 updates: 

Construction of a drinking water basin in the village of Ahl Mbarek Massoud, rural commune of Ait Taleb:

During participatory planning meetings, this project has been designated as a highest priority. Once the land was identified and designated for the basin and a well was dug, an architect had topography plans drawn up and HAF recruited an engineer specializing in reinforced concrete to supervise the construction and a certificate of the structure’s strength obtained. The work is expected to take about 40 days. 


Villages of Karya, Ait Taleb, Ouled Bella, Smasda require drinking water system:

Four additional villages have also expressed their desire for construction of a drinking water basin to relieve their suffering, and a partnership has been formed between HAF, the local community, and FHA-FOCP to do so. This partnership will fund constructing of the clean drinking water basins and the community will invest in digging and deepening the wells as well as the purchase and installation of a pump, the piping to serve the households with drinking water, and the community will also take charge of constructing the basins.

Jul 2, 2012

The Importance of Improved Irrigation Systems for Fruit Orchards

Irrigation systems 

A major barrier to agricultural development is water, or the unreliability of its supply. 

Traditional irrigation practices in rural mountain areas significantly limit fruit and nut tree orchards’ sizes by approximately half, due mainly to water seepage (canals and basins are contained by earth) and inconsistent availability (flooding washes away canals during the winter, and the dry summers leave lower lying areas with less water).  Furthermore, drought stress stunts the growth of fruit size.  Currently, many communities harvest their yield in May and June instead of September, as the water shortage period from June to August threatens fruit tree growth, which in turn affects the harvest.

Of course, local farmers understand that irrigation initiatives would dramatically impact their livelihood base, which is why communities of the High Atlas Mountains always rank irrigation the top priority (only, in some cases, supplanted by clean drinking water projects). The cost, though, of just the materials for irrigation projects (communities are always willing to provide labor in-kind) make them nearly impossible for the greater majority of villages to implement.  For example, the material cost to implement 1 (population 325) village’s basic irrigation needs (a basin, canal and pipes) is $35,000 — a significant proportion of the entire village’s annual income. Unfortunately, the people's poverty is often perpetuated by their not implementing viable irrigation projects in conjunction with fruit tree planting.

With your help, we can enable them to step out of this vicious cycle by improving irrigation, which will improve their orchards' output, which will increase their incomes.

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