Morocco, between desertification and the pandemic
A new project of the Foundation promotes the access to water and hygiene in schools in Morocco’s most impoverished areas. The health and economic crisis unleashed by Covid-19 threatens the sustainable development of Magreb, one of the areas in the world most affected by desertification caused by climate change. The solidarity of its population is its strength.
The new project is also being carried out in the Guercif province, in the Eastern Region, an area located on the southern border of the Eastern Rif, a geographical and cultural area that is suffering from the decrease in rainfall that climate change has clearly increased in the last decade. The entire African coast of the Mediterranean basin is a climate zone that is among the most threatened by global warming of the atmosphere.
A recent study by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology () has confirmed the projections already made in the report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change () in 2014: the northern coast of Africa will be increasingly dry because of declining rainfall. The study by the MIT forecasts a 40% drop in rainfall during the winter rainy season in some coastal areas of the Mediterranean, such as Northwest Africa and the Middle East, where this projection has already become evident in recent years.
These climate forecasts represent a serious setback to Morocco’s efforts in the fight against poverty, which could be extended to Algeria, Tunisia, Mauritania and Libya, countries that make up the Magreb. In early January, the government of Morocco launched a national program to provide drinking water and irrigation until 2027, with a budget of 11.8 billion dollars. Similar initiatives are being carried out in Algeria for 2030 and in Tunisia, where water recycling for agriculture takes on a special role. These countries are struggling with a pandemic that is impoverishing them and slowing progress towards the attainment of access to water and sanitation for their entire population. Investments in education about the water cycle and the benefits of sanitation and hygiene are the best help for those who have made living with very little their main survival tool. Their feeling of solidarity will do the rest.