By Houmi Ahamed-Mikidache
The High Atlas needs help in the Al Haouz province and the Marrakech-Safi region, two of the regions most affected by the earthquake happened on the night of friday 8 to saturday 9 September. The High Atlas Foundation founded in 2000 by Youssef Ben Meir, a former peace corps, is dedicated to sustainable development and is currently mobilizing for disaster victims in earthquake-affected areas. The NGO is working for two decades with rural communities in Morocco by planting trees. With years of experience transporting and distributing trees and essential supplies to these remote villages, they affirm to be well equipped to procure, transport, and distribute supplies for disaster relief.
They launched in the past a pilot nursery at Akrich in the Al Haouz province near Marrakech. Financially assisted by Ecosia and FENELEC, the Akrich tree nursery goals were to empowerment women during workshops and implementing drinking water systems among others.
Two years ago, women from Al Haouz province participated to the 35th Imagine Women’s Empowerment Workshop . According to the Foundation, the women who have attended 4-day Imagine workshops over these years have gone on to create income-generating cooperatives, engage for the first time in parent associations at their children’s schools, and participate in community planning that has led to sustainable development initiatives in rural villages. They’ve gone back to school, grown in self-confidence, and reclaimed their own inherent agency to make the decisions that are best for themselves, for now, and for their future.
” We have worked closely with the people of the Al Haouz province and the Marrakech-Safi region for over two decades, and we join the farming families of this area in making this call for active support. Our hearts and our hands are with those affected by this disaster, and we share the grief of these communities, ” explains the foundation in a in a press release received by Era Environnement.
More than 2,000 people died in the earthquake. The epicentre was in the High Atlas Mountains, 71km (44 miles) south-west of Marrakech. Several other non governmental organizations, volunteers, members of diaspora are mobilizing to help the disaster victims. International assistance says it is ready to help as well. The Cherifian kingdom has asked Spain for help. 86 Spanish rescuers accompanied by dogs specialized in finding victims went to Morocco this Sunday.