Morocco : Continuing efforts to reconstruct areas affected by the Al Haouz earthquake Morocco : Continuing efforts to reconstruct areas affected by the Al Haouz earthquake

Morocco : Continuing efforts to reconstruct areas affected by the Al Haouz earthquake

Morocco : Continuing efforts to reconstruct areas affected by the Al Haouz earthquake

Morocco continues its efforts to reconstruct the areas affected by the Al Haouz earthquake, which struck a number of regions of the Kingdom six months ago, leaving 2,960 deaths and 6,125 injuries, in addition to major material destruction, while the conditions of those affected, who live in extremely difficult conditions, continue to worsen.

The Moroccan government is urging steps to rebuild and rebuild the areas affected by the Al Haouz earthquake, which struck a number of regions of the Kingdom six months ago, leaving thousands of deaths, injuries, and great material destruction.

Rabat created a specialized agency for reconstruction, and on February 15, it launched the “Emergency Program to Combat the Effects of Hail in the Areas Affected by the Earthquake” and the “Forest Rehabilitation and Water Basins Programme,” with a budget of 2.84 billion dirhams ($284 million).

While a local official in one of the areas most affected by the earthquake spoke of “tangible progress in implementing the reconstruction program,” while acknowledging “stumbling in areas that are no longer suitable for construction,” a human rights activist said that most of those affected are still living in tents and have not benefited from financial support. allocation, considering that “there is ambiguity in the reconstruction program.”

Atlas Agency

On September 27, the Moroccan government approved the creation of the “High Atlas Development Agency” to undertake reconstruction and rehabilitation efforts for the areas affected by the earthquake.

The government said in a statement at the time that the agency “will be concerned with preparing a reconstruction and rehabilitation program over a period of five years (2024-2028), in six provinces affected by the earthquake: Marrakesh, Al Haouz, Chichaoua, Azilal, Ouarzazate (north), and Taroudant (central).”

Tangible progress

Abdel Rahim Ait Daoud, mayor of Tlath Nicoub, one of the areas most affected by the earthquake, said, “Official meetings are continuing to hand over building permits, and progress in implementing the reconstruction program is tangible.”

He added, "The first part of the construction grant was received by the affected people who obtained building permits, and its value is 20,000 dirhams ($2,000)."

He added, "The construction process is supervised by engineers and experts to ensure that the collapsed houses are built according to specific conditions to resist earthquakes."

He explained that "three other phases will provide financial grants to complete the construction, each of which will amount to 40,000 dirhams ($4,000)."

Ait Daoud acknowledged that "the reconstruction program has faltered in some areas that are no longer suitable for construction, and the relevant authorities are working to find alternative areas to build new homes."

Difficult conditions

As for Montaser Etri, a human rights activist who hails from the village of Asni, close to the epicenter of the earthquake, he said, “Six months after the tragedy of the Al Haouz earthquake, we are witnessing a continued deterioration in the conditions of those affected.”

He added: "Until now, most of the affected residents are still living in tents in very difficult conditions. Until now, there is ambiguity in the reconstruction program, as those affected by the earthquake have not yet been sheltered."

He continued: "Most of those affected did not benefit from the reconstruction aid, and the beneficiaries were very few and only benefited from the first installment."

He added that "a large number of those affected were excluded from the financial aid allocated by the state, with the justification of not residing permanently in the affected areas."

He pointed out "a problem in the management and management (implementation), and the lack of response (by the authorities) to royal instructions in a clear and frank manner."

Steps to recovery

To recover from the earthquake in the six affected provinces, the Moroccan government has allocated 120 billion dirhams ($12 billion) over the next 5 years.

The government announced the disbursement of 2,500 dirhams ($250) per month to each family affected by the earthquake, starting last September for a year.

The support also includes financial assistance of 140,000 dirhams (about 14,000 dollars) to owners of homes that have completely collapsed, and 80,000 dirhams (8,000 dollars) to cover the rehabilitation work of homes that have partially collapsed.

In total, the budget allocated for financial support to afflicted families amounts to about 8 billion dirhams ($800 million), and includes the reconstruction and rehabilitation of damaged housing.

The number of people affected by the earthquake reached 2.8 million people, representing two-thirds of the population in these areas, according to an official census.

Last September 8, a 7-magnitude earthquake struck cities including the capital, Rabat, Casablanca, Meknes, Fez, and Marrakesh (north), Agadir and Taroudant (centre), leaving 2,960 deaths and 6,125 injuries, in addition to major material destruction, according to the Ministry of the Interior.

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