The victims of Al Haouz quake in Amizmiz continue to endure the relentless onslaught of powerful winds and heavy rains on their makeshift tents, leaving populations vulnerable to both the aftermath of the September 8 earthquake and harsh weather conditions.
“The living conditions of the quake victims are still as dismal as ever. Water seeps into the tents, while others are blown away by the wind, making the victims’ lives even more difficult,” said Najia Ait Mhend, member of the coordination for Amizmiz earthquake victims in an interview with MoroccoLatestNews.
Ait Mhend went on to explain that even when mobile housing units were provided, the process was marred by disorganization.
“Even after the protest we organized and the meetings we had with local authorities, our demands have still not been met. We haven’t been provided with a field hospital. There is no electricity or water for the tent residents, despite assurances that the authorities had been in contact with ONE,” Ait Mhend said.
She further added that “these are all promises, and nothing tangible has been implemented. We haven’t even been given a deadline for the implementation of these plans and promises.”
The coordinator said mobile housing units were not distributed in some rural communities in the vicinity of the earthquake, and were limited to mosques or classrooms.
Last week, “the authorities granted permission for these units, but with a condition – they could only be used in high-altitude villages, which number 76 according to our information. This created problems as it resulted in inequality and unfairness between the villages and disrupted the entire distribution process because there aren’t enough units for everyone,”, Ait Mhend added.
Ait Mhend lamented the fact that tents, which were initially provided as a temporary solution, have proven to be a challenging long-term living arrangement.
She drew particular attention to the struggles faced by students in these tents, saying that “students are still using tents as classrooms, which makes learning more difficult. While some villages have received modular units to be used as classrooms, others haven’t.”
Ait Mhend added that many high school students from nearby areas can’t attend schools in Amizmiz because there are no dormitories or accommodations, and there are no solutions in sight.
While the victims of the quake continue to struggle, the government had officially designated Al Haouz quake as a catasrophic event in an order signed by the head of Government, Aziz Akhennouch, on October 13.
This decision was published in the Official Gazette on October 19 and identified 6 provinces as disaster-stricken.
It initiated various procedures for the victims such as the activation of safeguards against the impacts of such events, and activated the Fund for Solidarity against Catastrophic Events to compensate uninsured disaster victims for damages caused by natural disasters or violent human acts.