We are so pleased to report that thanks to your generous support, implementation of a clean water system has begun in Rhamna Province. We have identified the need to build a basin and to deepen this well. Local citizens are incredibly devoted to seeing this project through to completion, and as such they are offering labor in kind, which assures that the work gets done on schedule.
In addition, thanks to your funds, we have bought the materials for a water tower, and that is being constructed as well. Community members are working to collect piping, checking prices to make sure we can purchase enough to bring potable water to every single household in the village.
To get a sense of the full budget breakdown for clean-drinking water, check out the Budget Chart below. Your donation goes to the direct cost of this project, which is life-saving and contributes to sustainable human development, giving women and children a chance for a better life for years to come.
An important Clean Drinking Water project has been completed in the village of Ahl Mbarek Maassoud, Rural Commune of Aït Taleb, Ben Guerir Province:
The water tower has been built, the trenches for the pipes were dug, and pipes installed. This is a realization of a dream. Ever since 1979, this commune has requested clean drinking water, and HAF is happy that its facilitation of Participatory Planning meetings and process have enabled the community members to come together, solve the problems, and make it happen, despite the challenges mentioned in earlier reports.
Approximately 60% of rural Moroccans now have access to clean drinking water, up from 14% in 1995. During that same period, however, access to house connections and improved water sources had extremely modest gains. Clean drinking water projects remain a top project priority expressed by High Atlas Mountain communities. Nationally, infant mortality rates are 26.49 per 1,000 — more than 4 times higher than the United States — and are significantly higher in rural areas. Too often, there seems to be a disconnect, as in this case, between the national human development figures that show marked improvements, and the reality of Morocco’s mountain communities which have been left behind.
NOTE: Time spent to procure what is often non-potable water (in addition to fuel wood) is a burden on women and girls — and prevents their participation in education. While 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, interestingly, this project priority often does not appear among the suggested projects from the women's participatory planning meetings. One possible reason for this, as HAF has observed in a different community, is that the time spent fetching water is also an opportunity during the day for women and girls to socialize together.
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.
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.
As part of HAF’s partnership with the Organization of the Moroccan Community in the United States (OMC-US), the High Atlas Foundation is facilitating participatory planning meetings in Zaouiat Cheikh and the Ait Oum Elbeikht communes, in the region of Ben-Mellal. Initial meetings since January 2012 were held at the social municipality club, and in recent weeks with community members in their gracious homes and villages.
The purpose of these gatherings of local men and women is for them to identify the types of projects they would like to implement in their community to achieve their socio-economic and environmental goals. The meetings have been wonderfully enthusiastic and interactive. People are listening carefully to each other, and acknowledging everyone’s needs and interests.
Community members are continuing to hone in on the specific project priorities, which are in the areas of irrigation, handicrafts and education (including literacy). Several people recommended that if these participatory planning activities were carried out by facilitators in every local Moroccan community, then the development would be more truly democratic. We totally agree.
All of us at HAF are very grateful to Dr. Abdelkader Abbadi and the entire OMC-US Board for believing in and financially supporting development projects by and for the people of Zaouiat Cheikh, which will soon be entering the project implementation stage.
It is wonderful that all HAF community, civil, corporate and government partners are real supporters of this premise – that community participation drives project sustainability. HAF’s programs make participation in development a reality for many Moroccan communities and groups, who are marginalized.
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