Marega/Marrakesh suburbs- The young woman, Karima Ait Hammou, looks at the person speaking to her with great sadness as she remembers what happened on the night of last September 8, when her life was turned upside down after she lost her home and a number of her relatives due to the devastating earthquake in Morocco.
In the mountainous region of Upper Mariga, specifically the village of Werghan on the outskirts of Marrakesh, Karima now lives alongside her husband, son, and daughter inside a small tent, erected temporarily on top of a flat hill. The residents did not find anyone else to pitch their tents, but it is exposed to the strong mountain winds, which makes the residents spend an inordinate amount of time. In reinstalling it.
The thirty-year-old young woman sits cross-legged to prepare lunch, in a remote part of her small tent, which she has turned into a kitchen, while she adds an unmistakable touch to the arrangement of the utensils, which alleviates the feeling of crampedness and loneliness of the place.
When we asked her for permission to photograph, she did not care about the matter, as her family life had lost all privacy, as she put it in an anxious interview with Al Jazeera Net.
Like Karima, a number of families – affected by the earthquake – in Al Haouz Province are living in a miserable situation, as they have lost their loved ones and their housing, and their suffering increases after the rain and snow falls with the advent of the fall season, prompting some to say that they have become completely forgotten.
Karima says that she heard about government support for those affected by the earthquake, but so far she has not received any of it, while Mr. Hassan Bounasser told Al Jazeera Net that only about 20% of the population of “Upper Mariga”, in which about 240 families live, has received the support.
Bonasser, a civil activist, hears about reconstruction, but wonders about the time for its implementation, which seems to be not soon. He stresses the necessity of providing temporary housing other than tents, especially school tents, inside which students are also suffering.
Worn out tents
Before we arrived in Upper Mariga, and along the road to it from the center of the village of Bouirgan or the village of Asni, tents were spread here and there, in a scene that had become familiar since the devastating earthquake, but this time the tents were outdated, and always in need of renewal, and the residents could no longer bear it, as Hassan Bonasser tells the story.
When moving to the village of Amizmiz, through a mountain pass, the view is not different from what was seen in the village of Werghan, where worn out tents spread in the public space.
Upon entering Amadil camp (one of the camps in the center of the town of Amizmiz), our attention caught the spread of wastewater passing through small canals, which indicates the difficulty of living inside the camp, even though the residents decorated the entrances with flowers and shrubs.
In the same camp, Mrs. Jamila Ait Lahnash faces a different kind of problem. She rents a house, but she cannot live in it because it is classified as a dilapidated house. She also cannot evacuate all of her belongings from it due to the small size of her temporary tent, but the owner of the house demands payment of rent or eviction. Immediate.
Jamila notes the government’s decision to allocate a sum of money for a woman in her condition, but she faults it for the slow implementation and dissemination of benefits. She concludes by saying that she sees her children’s future being lost after she noticed a deterioration in their psychology and their desire to achieve academic achievement.
The young man, Moaz Al-Ghazwani, from the same camp, says that residents are demanding equipped housing instead of tents, which the recent rains have shown to be ineffective in protecting them, in addition to the fact that a number of dilapidated houses are still standing and pose a constant danger to passers-by.
And in his speech For Al Jazeera Net, Al-Ghazwani notes that a number of families preferred to immigrate and bear additional burdens, explaining that the difficult living conditions prompted merchants to close their shops, and residents to organize a protest march despite their knowledge of the decision to ban it.
In the Amadil camp, one of the associations is still providing the residents with some food supplies, but other families are living in more difficult conditions, as is the case in the Bouskioud roundabout, not far from the center of Amizmiz, where 9 families live.
The young woman, Fatima Zahraa Ait Idar, a resident of the Douar area, notes that the solidarity convoys have decreased significantly until they have disappeared, explaining that the drinking water that families use has become of lower quality. She added to Al Jazeera Net that the roundabout has about 18 children, who spend all their time playing, and are deprived of studying in a nearby school.
Residents pin their hopes on government promises to improve their lives. According to an official source in Al Haouz Province, the local authorities will work to provide more tents for those who have not received them yet or whose tent was damaged by the recent winds and rains, and will also generalize the provision of water, electricity, health facilities, and kindergartens.
The authorities will also work to gradually replace school tents with mobile homes, find a solution to the problem of school transportation and housing for students in student homes, and provide portfolios, curricula, and school tools for those students who need them, according to the same official.
In addition, the government is working to increase the number of beneficiaries of support for earthquake victims, further scrutinize the lists of beneficiaries, expand the circle to include tenants as well, and work to establish a field hospital as soon as possible.
The young man, Moaz Al-Ghazwani, notes that all of these promises do not have specific deadlines, but he hopes that things will develop for the better at the required speed.
According to a decision published in the Official Gazette based on an opinion poll conducted by the Disaster Incident Tracking Committee, the Moroccan government considered the earthquake a “catastrophic event,” and declared 169 local communities in the provinces of Al Haouz, Chichaoua, Azilal, Ouarzazate, Taroudant, and the Marrakesh prefecture, disaster areas.
It is the first decision of its kind since the establishment of a solidarity fund for catastrophic events. AndAccording to Insurance Law No. (110.14), any event resulting in direct damage due to a natural force or violent human action is considered “catastrophic.”
After the state had determined the amounts of compensation for housing through the earthquake repercussions fund, The new decision raises a new problem, which is that the announced compensation amounts are much less than what the Solidarity Fund provides against catastrophic events, while observers believe that the first amounts may become part of the full compensation.
Some residents asked, speaking to Al Jazeera Net, “Should the government have waited a month and a half to declare Al Haouz Province (and the rest of the provinces) a disaster area?”