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Saving The Nurseries: HAF’s Proposals to Water Challenges

Sanae Benaadim

HAF Office Manager and Volunteer Coordinator.

Water is one of the most important resource management aspects that integrates the notion of sustainability in Morocco.The High Atlas Foundation is focused on spreading and strengthening sustainable development in Moroccan communities through several big and small projects.There are nexus cycles between three main elements/keys of life, which are water, energy, and food that can build a strong green economy. The USAID Farmer-to-Farmer (F2F) team is working on developing proposals by researching potential water resources through field trips.

On February 3, 2021, the F2F team took a field trip aimed at visiting three locations. HAF Project Manager and F2F Volunteer Coordinator Errachid Montassir, Project Assistant Lahcen Ait Ouatouch, and I accompanied local volunteer Laarbi Didouqen for the trip. We drove toward the first area,the Business Center in Ait Ourir 33 km east of Marrakech.While there, the team held a meeting with Anas Mouatik, Digital Strategist and Communication Manager at AFCD, to discuss their vision for upcoming projects. Kamal Akaya, President of the AFCD Foundation, virtually joined the meeting from Rabat.  

These projects will be powered by potential partnerships betweenHAF, the Moroccan Jewish community, and the AFCD Foundation.The AFCD will be the host organization. Their task will be collecting data, conducting evaluations, and facilitating workshops for community members to have increased training. In addition, the Foundation will provide different activities for youth and women

HAF and AFCD are great partners, whose vision is to do a global study with community members before moving to the next step. The High Atlas Foundation is looking forward to accomplishing other achievements in Al Haouz province. During the meetings, HAF and the community brainstormed the possibilities to create new nurseries, which would create a sense of  harmony and interfaith within the Morrocan affiliation.A Multicultural and Interfaith Foundation

A Multicultural and Interfaith Foundation

HAF’s Akrich fruit tree nursery, built on land lent in-kind next to a Jewish cemetery, could be replicated throughout Morocco, North Africa, the Middle East, and beyond to help reduce generational poverty in rural communities.

HAF seeks to preserve the cultural Jewish heritage as part and parcel of the Moroccan culture through several partnerships. the thing that strengthens the international relationship among the two countries. It is a historical breakthrough to maintain the diplomatic relationship. 

HAF is currently operating 12 community-managed organic fruit tree nurseries. One of which is located in the Al Haouz province and the other in the Ouarzazate province. The nurseries were built in partnership with the Jewish community, which helped provide the local population with job opportunities and food-sufficiency. 

HAF’s vision is to build more nurseries. The F2F team along with local volunteers take part in participatory  meetings with communities around Morocco to identify good locations and develop strategy, where the possibilities become realistic proposals that include all the details. 

The second place our team headed during our field trip was toward the tomb of Saint Rabbi Mizhrai in the village of Chames. We met the Sheikh and had a fruitful discussion surrounding the lack of water in this region.  

Only salinated water comes from the mountain, which is neither useful for agriculture nor for drinking water. The team decided that the solution is to dig a well near the river,4,000 M from the saint’s tomb. The well’s water will be used for the potential tree nursery. 

Full of enthusiasm and passion, the team took another trip to the “Rabbi Daniel Hashomer” in the Ait Fasca commune. There, the community faces the same issue of accessing clean water. 

The last trip was meeting with  the president of the Tamagart municipality, Mr. Hassan Azaroual, and community members. Engaging the municipality in a partnership can play an important role in making a tree nursery project successful. This is another community that needs to find  a source of water to bring the water to the saint.The president was really impressed by the HAF’s approach and existing tree projects within Jewish lands. He encouraged implementing this project in ”Rabbi Daniel Hashomer” as soon as possible. The municipality is looking to find ways to provide water for the saint and be part of the project.

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