Written by Khomenko Ekaterina
Land degradation is a large issue for Morocco. The Atlas Mountains dominate the central part of the country, explaining why much of the landscape is mountainous with slopes that gradually transition into plateaus and valleys, which are very dry during the summer. Even such, dry areas can be made suitable for growing fruit trees by constructing an efficient irrigation system. One main purpose of the High Atlas Foundation (HAF) is to provide people with food security in rural areas by building tree nurseries. In addition to building the irrigation systems, the most difficult task, in my opinion, is to maintain the pipeline in good condition so that water can continually flow to the plants. At first glance, the process seems easy, but it is not.
Water descends from the very tops of the Atlas Mountains into special reservoirs, and then is distributed using pipes and smaller tubes that are led to the plant roots themselves. This water flows a very long way, which could be interrupted by a natural accident. For example, one stone could stop or significantly weaken the flow of water by falling into the pipes, thus causing the trees to die. Additionally, a stone could plug the hole and stop the leak. Therefore, in this case, the human factor is very important: even the smallest efforts such as clearing stones and branches will help fill the reservoir and supply the plants with necessary water. This observation inspired me with the hope that each person with a small action can contribute to what ultimately leads to big changes in the future.