Many of us here in Europe misinterpret the desert and its people. We tend to think that the desert people are literally able to wring water from a flint. Bad news is that although they are magical, they are certainly not magicians. They are great at finding water resources and they economize these sources, making sure that their children would not be left without water either. However, various historical events, political and economic interests, together with the effects of climate change resulted in a situation when it is a daily struggle now to find and access water. Water for people, animals, and plants.
On my trip in Morocco I was introduced to many died palmeries, that not too long ago provided livelihood for families and whole communities. There is nothing in their places now but sand. One other misconception about the desert people is that we might think they love sand to the extent that they do not need anything else to live a full life. They need groundwater, rain, and arable land, just to mention the basics. But the desert is gradually seizing lands that were once fertile and cultivated. At certain areas the building of dams caused the desertification of valleys and villages. Even the famous and once rich Draa River valley looked empty and unearthly. Moving to an other place is not always an option. People struggle to provide for themselves and hope for the best. I had a few interesting conversations with those I met along the way. One of them sounded something like this:
Q.: “What happens if people cannot work on the fields anymore?”
A.: “Then someone in the family, the children go the city and try to find some job.”
Q.: “And what if they don’t find any job?”
A.: “Then everyone is in sh.. .” – came the quite straightforward answer.
Despite all the difficulties, people in Morocco do not seem to give up. They work tirelessly on the fields, they refuse to give in to their situation. And here I would like to share again the campaign run by Lets Go 2 Morocco, that aims to help one of the locals and his community in accessing ground water. Please take a look at the Water is Life campaign, and consider donating.