Morocco to give aid to those affected by earthquake, farmers suffering
Morocco will be giving financial aid to the families affected by the massive earthquake that hit the country and caused severe damage all over the country.
Morocco has decided to provide financial aid of 30,000 Moroccan dirhams (approximately $3,000) to families affected by the earthquake, Moroccan media reported Thursday.
Moroccan media also reported that the government has decided to provide direct financial aid of approximately $13,800 to those whose homes completely collapsed homes and $7,800 to those whose homes partially collapsed.
Rescue and relief efforts continue due to the earthquake that struck the country on Friday, which claimed the lives of thousands of people, with several Arab and foreign countries providing assistance.
Check out: Countries ready to aid Morocco
The Moroccan government faces economic challenges imposed by the aftermath of the earthquake, and economically significant areas of Morocco, especially the cities of Marrakesh and Ouarzazate, have been affected by the recent earthquake.
Many survivors of the strongest earthquake to hit Morocco in more than a century are facing difficult conditions in the temporary shelters they are staying in after spending a fourth night outdoors.
Villagers in mountainous areas devastated by the earthquake expressed their frustration at not receiving any help from the Moroccan authorities.
The earthquake is the deadliest in terms of death toll in the North African country since 1960 and the most powerful in more than a century.
Rescue teams from Spain, Britain, and Qatar joined Moroccan search efforts for possible earthquake survivors, while Italy, Belgium, France, and Germany said Morocco had not yet accepted their offers of assistance.
Nevertheless, despair gripped people in remote areas isolated by landslides resulting from the earthquake, at a time when relief efforts intensified in accessible places by setting up shelter camps and distributing food and water.
Farmers suffering exacerbated
Mohammed al-Moutawak, a farmer whose village was severely affected by the earthquake, remains unwavering in terms of his determination, even though Morocco's powerful earthquake devastated his village and ruined his apple harvest, both of which are essential for small-scale farmers like him.
For years, drought and extreme weather conditions have been challenging the Arab kingdom's agricultural sector, but the earthquake has brought about a fresh set of difficulties that are only starting to become clear.
"We used to consider hail as our most formidable adversary, but now we face another formidable challenge," stated the 56-year-old farmer from Ineghede, a mountain village located in the hardest-hit al-Haouz region, south of Marrakesh.
"The earthquake has left destruction in its wake, and we are grappling with the aftermath."
In the days following the September 8th earthquake, which claimed the lives of over 2,900 individuals, he gazed sorrowfully at his apple and walnut trees, which are cultivated on terraced slopes in the Atlas Mountains.
With hands covered in dust, he gestured towards the trees that have been nurtured by his family for generations, contrasting them with the stone and wood houses of his village, which now lie in ruins.
The disaster on September 8th led to the deaths of 11 of the hamlet's 200 residents, leaving the survivors sheltered in yellow relief tents.
Al-Moutawak's Golden and Gala apples, which he had expected to harvest, now lay scattered on the grass, their fragrance intermingling with the odor of a decomposing donkey buried under the rubble.
Since the fruit had not yet ripened, his harvest was lost, along with the profits he had counted on to pay off his debts.
In the village, the search for survivors has concluded. All the bodies have been recovered, and every person has been located, which is in contrast to other towns where rescue teams were still actively looking for signs of life even six days after the earthquake.
Women were sorting through blankets and clothing that had been brought by civilians, while men were sifting through the debris in search of everyday essentials like eyeglasses, cooking pots, and water containers.
Similar to other areas in these mountains, small-scale farming and the rearing of goats, cows, and other livestock are fundamental sources of both sustenance and income.
"We put in a lot of effort to earn a modest income by harvesting apples, with the aim of preparing for the upcoming school year and providing some support to our families," explained Jamel Ait Bouyahia, 42.
In recent years, the Moroccan government and various donors have been actively implementing aid programs, some of which are designed to enhance resilience in the face of climate change.
Other development initiatives have been more targeted, specifically focusing on breaking the isolation of village life and empowering women with more autonomy.
There have also been programs to recycle treated wastewater for agricultural purposes and to promote water-efficient drip irrigation methods.