This project involves two small communities on Morocco’s Atlantic coast just north of Essaouira, Al Fayda and Azrou Issa: thirty-nine families scraping a living from just over 100 hectares of land and from the beach below. It’s a beautiful place but diminishing rainfall patterns are turning it into a desert and life is increasingly tough.
The project here is still in embryonic stages. Efforts to encourage the locals into forming a cooperative have failed because it’s actually quite a complicated process in Morocco and many different government departments are involved. The community leaders here are illiterate and dealing with authorities and their paperwork is very scary for them. But from these efforts has risen an alternative: the Chicht Association for Durable Development.
The association model is much easier to set up and the idea has spread from our little area into the wider community of Douar Chicht. We thought to have just 39 families involved but now there are several hundred families represented. It’s an encouraging development in itself, but all are now waiting, waiting to see what will happen next.
Find more info on the Fertile Roots Foundation web site.