By Karam-Yane Azzabi, HAF Program Manager
The French NGO Le Partenariat has been engaging in activities surrounding water access, management, and sanitation in the Marrakech-Safi region of Morocco for the past nine years. Recently, they held a conference on their PAEMS 2020-2021 project among rural schools.
The project provides access to water and sanitation in elementary schools and raises awareness among students and trains teachers on themes of hygiene, water, and the environment. In partnership with French water agencies, INDH, the Regional Academy of Education, ONEE, Morocco’s Ministry of Education and local associations, they have put in place a steering committee for planning and coordination of these activities at the local community level, impacting 7,249 students at 54 schools in 24 communities to improve health conditions.
Representatives from different sectors—Water & Forests, Wilaya, Regional Academy of Education, Basin, Tensift Regional Investment Center, local association and commune president in Marrakech-Safi— discussed the importance of water access in schools to fight against dropout rates. An alarming study from the representative from the hydraulic basin shows the decreasing water sources in Morocco, especially in Marrakech, where its dam covers only 30% of its needs.
By installing counters in each school to monitor overall water use and consumption per student, the data will help in management and decision making. In addition, schools have created environmental clubs and trained teachers and students in water management and environmental conservation.