By Amina El Hajjami (HAF’s Director of Projects), Hana Ezaoui (HAF’s Project Manager in Boujdour), and Indrianty Lihardinata (HAF Intern from Pepperdine University)
The High Atlas Foundation (HAF) and Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy (SGRE) have been partnering since July 2018 to promote an environmental campaign and to provide clean drinking water for nomadic communities in the Boujdour province. The project’s mission is to build a canal of 520 meters to cool down the water and enable animals (camels, sheep, and goats) to drink. The project has been beneficial for the community as two drinking towers with pumps and motors have also been built in the Ahl Atriah and Khotot Hbia areas. In addition, four solar panels have been installed in Byar Triyeh, Khotot Hbia, Amat Sfia, and Toukb Jrifia. The HAF-SGRE partnership also facilitated several environmental campaign activities in the province on the ninth and tenth of October in Boujdour.
On Tuesday, 9 October, the campaign took place in Awziouat Beach in Jrifia Commune. Approximately 100 local people–teachers, female and male students, women’s and men’s cooperative members, representatives of the local authorities, people from the media, and public social service workers–attended the event. The event started with a Koran recitation about water, the sky, land, and the stars. HAF and SGRE then spoke about how to protect the environment and diminish pollution. “We have to reduce using plastic, including plastic bottles, as plastic takes 450 years to decompose,” said Sonia Adnane from SGRE. Representatives of the students, teachers, local associations, and the environmental delegation of Boujdour also shared their thoughts on the campaign’s importance, and how unique was this day.
The students participated in educational drawing and singing activities, and were having fun learning more about protecting the environment. The event carried on with a beach cleanup. According to Mouhssin Allouch, a Boujdour native, the environmental campaign is crucial as people in the area are not aware of the negative impact of plastic, human health, and even that tourism can have. Amina El Hajjami, HAF’s Director of Projects, concluded the event by reminding students to be ambassadors of the environmental campaign to their peers.
After the memorable event, HAF and SGRE continued the environmental campaign event on the following day at Al Masira Khadra and Annahda primary schools. The students from Al Masira Alkhdra primary school were taught the vital importance of recycling and created decorations from the recycled materials, such as paper and bottles. They also learned how to plant trees correctly before singing a song regarding the importance of environmental protection.
At the second school, Annahda primary, students learned how to prune and plant trees, collect waste, and paint vases. The 10th was another successful event as the teams from SGRE, HAF, local authorities, and school members had a productive discussion on how to create sustainable environmental changes at the school. HAF and SGRE will continue to facilitate participatory and environmental actions with the students in the remaining 15 schools of the Boujdour province.
Finally, HAF and SGRE colleagues were fortunate to be able to visit the progress of the pump and motor installation in Om Rjilat, located 72 km from the city of Boujdour. The objective of this project is to provide drinking water for nomadic communities and the families in the province. Clean water also prevents the herds from thirst and is used for cooking and washing. In addition, solar power is also being installed near the water source to provide light, making the water accessible for everyone who lives in the desert. Mr. Laarousi, one of the nomads who was born and lives in the area, thanked SGRE and HAF for the project initiative as they no longer need to keep moving to find water. According to him, the community in Toukb Jrifia also considers the project well done because the water sources are easily reached. Also, Mohammad, who is responsible for the pump, expresses his gratitude as he finds the machine provides a convenience.
It has been a beautiful three days for us at HAF and SGRE. The two-day environmental campaign became a starting point to keep Boujdour clean. We are hopeful that targeting the campaign for the youth would be beneficial as they will make it a habit and pass the legacy to the next generation. Furthermore, we understand that water is a crucial aspect in a nomadic community as they count on water accessibility the most. Together, we continue our movement to protect the environment and provide water for everyone in need.
At the end, we would like to thank so much our amazing partner, Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy, and especially Sonia Adnane and Basma Lahmine for the great job that they did from the very beginning of the project. We wish to work with you and everyone at SGRE on other projects in the future.