Youssef El Moussaoui
Once in a lifetime experience. Annually, on the third Monday of January, the High Atlas Foundation (HAF) organizes a nationwide tree planting campaign. On this January 21st 2019, the HAF team planted trees with communities in many places, including Sidi Bouathmane (Ait Imloul). Ait Imloul is an arid village about 20 kilometers away from Bouathmane, a small village where there are large and quite modest sized farms. Despite the ack of water in the area, they manage to cultivate fine and beautiful farms.
HAF’s project manager, Said Bennani, led the way from our office in Marrakech to the not-so-far province, driving with many medicinal and fruiting plants in the trunk. Once we got there, we met the very nice Yassine who showed us where we would be planting the saplings and stayed with us all until the end of the day.
The day was a spectacular one; the people of Ait Imloul welcomed us with their warm hearts. They are very good and respectful people. As we planted, we talked to the farmers there about HAF’s campaigns and they told us about their farms. Some of the farmers wanted only a few plants since their farms were already full; others wanted more. One farmer wanted more than 150 plants! We couldn’t deliver all those plants at that moment but we made plans to deliver more in the near future. He was happy with the plans made together and he told us he’ll be waiting the day we return with the number he wanted, maybe even more. As we kept going, we listened also to their challenges and how they manage to preserve their farms even with the lack of water they face. The day went by very smoothly and pleasantly.
We concluded by planting various plants along the wall of a cemetery, with the help of the town’s children, hoping one day the trees will grow to be beautiful and reduce the loneliness of the cemetery. We summed up the amazing day as we said our goodbyes to the people of Ait Imloul and left with promises of repeating what we did today, even hoping to make it better the next time.
Thus concludes the beautiful day at Sidi Bouathmane, Ait Imloul. We returned to headquarters with beautiful memories.