Sheltering in an Ait L'kak orchard as cold arrives
Update Sep 13, 2023, 11 pm Morocco time
Thanks to your generosity and that of hundreds of other incredible donors, as of 13 September 2023, we have raised 105,000 GBP across our two crowdfunding campaigns, here on GlobalGiving and via PayPal. We also learned today that we will receive important support from GlobalGiving as part of its disaster relief fund. Our gratitute to you, our donors, and to GlobalGiving for lifting up our work!
This is a marathon, not a sprint. Directing international donors to this GlobalGiving project, our amazing colleagues at Moroccan Biodiversity and Livelihoods Association (MBLA) wrote on their Instagram today, 13 September 2023:
"The devastating reality that Atlas communities must endure in the months ahead is heart-wrenching. Thousands of lives have been lost, and hundreds of thousands find themselves displaced, exposed to the harsh cold of the night with no shelter. Once-beautiful villages now lie in ruins.
The path to rebuilding these communities, restoring their livelihoods, and returning a sense of normalcy will be challenging and lengthy. The trauma these communities will carry with them is unimaginable.
It is only through solidarity that we can alleviate their suffering and aid in rebuilding their lives. Your support is crucial and greatly appreciated for the long road ahead. Volunteers and resources will be essential, both now and in the coming months. Please keep these communities in your thoughts, and if you are unable to support today, know that your help will still be invaluable in the future.”
What we did today
- Our team went to assess the damage and provide essentials (blankets, rugs, food) in Ait L’kak village, where our plant nursery is based. Houses have been rendered uninhabitable, with people camping in apple orchards, and 3 families taking shelter in MBLA's eco-museum center, which is under construction there.
- Our Agadir-based team was able to procure large quantities of other essentials like blankets, basic duvets, plastic shoes, solar projectors [solar-powered lighting], and flashlights that charge with solar power. We will be able to deliver part of this to Marrakech this Friday and send part of it to Chichaoua, which has been badly affected.
What we learned:
- We received news today that one village in Chichaoua is in dire need of food, clothes, tents and covers. We are now arranging a separate supplies trip to this village to ensure their urgent needs are met. We have also obtained large water containers of 1-2 tonnes capacity to help villages overcome the lack of water.
What we will do next:
- We are still urgently looking for temporary housing solutions with a number of providers of tents, box homes and others, and piercing together donations and discounts for the same. At present, the priority is arranging waterproof shelter for the coming weeks and procuring thermal wear to protect against bad weather.
- We have also started creating a theory of change for short, mid and long-term intervention to ensure that we keep account of needs over time and position ourselves to help communities restore their ways of life as soon as possible. The strategy accounts for everything from medical care to employment regeneration, agropastoralism and earthquake-safe yet traditional home rebuilding.
New and continuing collaborations
- We are in touch with various organisations and experts to facilitate this theory of change process and provide inputs to ensure that all interventions consider factors like terrain, traditional practices, biodiversity, and community welfare. Team member Ibitissam provided updates to the Guardian on their Guardian in Focus podcast, which can be heard here. We'll share more about that interview soon. CNN coverage of the team’s relief efforts in Tinisekt went live and they will accompany us on some future visits as well.
We are grateful for your support.
Images (Source: MBLA Instagram, mbla.morocco, 13 Sep 2023)
Cover: A family's shelter in an Ait L’kak apple orchard
1. Damage to a family’s home in Ait L’kak
2. Damage to traditional construction in Ait L’kak
3. Tinisekt, where CNN accompanied the team today, 13 Sep 2023
A family's home, collapsed in Ait L'kak
Damage to traditional construction, Ait L'kak
Tinisekt, where CNN accompanied the team today