In the Kingdom, nowadays, Moroccans are more and more concerned about the protection of their environment and the fight against climate change. Evidenced by civil society and its constancy in mobilization. Citizen action is not to be outdone and sometimes makes sporadic outings to denounce ecological dramas like the one currently taking place in Lehri in the Middle Atlas in the Khenifra region and which we want to silence at all costs.
It is neither more nor less than the drying up of a wadi, Chbouka in this case, and the hand of man much more than Mother Nature has a lot to do with this tragic situation. Eh yes ! Illicit and abusive pumping, construction of illegal hill dams for intensive crops for industrial purposes, diversion and overexploitation of water to tirelarigot by the luminaries of the corner, great landowners in addition and we pass the green and the not ripe for the organisms exercising the authoritarian power of this region who can only sympathize with this situation without, for that, being able to act.
The Oued Chbouka tributary which flows into the Oum Errabia, says to MoroccoLatestNews this farmer from this beautiful region, teacher and activist in addition in his remaining time, Kabir Kacha, ” arises or source in a natural lake “Aguelmame N’Miaami” in the cedar forest or what remains of Ajdir Izayane about thirty kilometers from the capital of the Zayanes Khénifra and is fed by sources and a tributary “.
The enthusiast of his hometown in an academic tone will detail us in great detail the reasons for an announced disaster, “thehe region of Lehri, just like Aguelmous, is famous for its sheep breeding from the “Timahdite” or “Bargui” sheep breed which makes the reputation of the Middle Atlas region in general and the province of Khénifra in particular and in particular during periods of Aïd el Adha. It is an animal heritage prized by all the neighboring regions both in the north (Tangier, Tetouan, etc.) and those in the south. “.
This cattle to drink had no other alternatives than this wadi. The result is a dry river and thirsty cattle. It is a real disaster. Kabir Kacha to continue People can no longer water their herds or have to travel far to fetch water to give their animals. An additional hassle for these breeders who were already unable to manage the feeding of their livestock because of the soaring prices of fodder, cereals and other foodstuffs used in their feed. “.
But that’s not all, laments the professor and farmer, ” the Chbouka wadi crossed a forest of oaks and cedars where lives a fauna that we will say wild (boars, foxes, primates, hares small rodents… as well as insects some of which have even given their names to towns and villages ) and aquatic animals (fish, turtles and others), a fauna that is deprived of vital water for its survival. This region of its waters being also famous for its population in calibrated trout and therefore was a tourist fishing center of great value”.
The Lehri region is also known for its fields of vegetable crops and their organic productions (very little or no substances such as chemical fertilizers and other pesticides) are intended for the souk or weekly market of Khenifra and generally with prices much more affordable than those of foodstuffs from other regions of the Kingdom. Unfortunately, these farmers are also affected by the drying up of Oued Chbouka.
For Kabir Kacha as for the residents of this wadi moreover, if the small peasant today is drinking it is that there is bad luck. ” A few large landowners (hundreds of hectares) as well as great luminaries of the region who can be counted on the fingertips have shared the jackpot by diverting the water using sophisticated pumps (beyond 200 m height), hillside dams and the creation of huge water basins exploiting a vital substance which, moreover, will not regenerate, towards their areas yet located kilometers from the Chbouka wadi “.
They irrigate there at all costs, the activist tells us again and above all ” water-intensive intensive crops (sugar beets, potatoes, fruit trees, etc.) with impunity, even if it means depriving the population, livestock, wildlife, in short, an entire ecosystem that is breaking up through greed and lack of patriotism of a handful of people “. As a result, small farmers are deprived of their food crop. And our interlocutor to indicate that in view of the cereal crisis which threatens food security, ” this wadi, in view of the hundreds of hectares of land drawn, all along it, from a more appropriate and organized agricultural policy with the help of cooperatives can be enough for the internal market, especially since it does not require a lot of water as for other crops intended for export “.
Kabir Kacha will conclude by saying “ we will then have ensured food security for millions of people, preserved this water resource, created job opportunities… there are, it is certain and for little solidarity, other substitutions which can be positive for the region and which can protect the environment and mitigate the sabotage that we are witnessing. We regret the government’s tendencies which consist in favoring the export of agricultural products which devours all the natural resources of the country and in particular water. We must take all these factors into consideration to preserve our national wealth and create, for example, regional commissions for water management through appropriate legislation appropriate to the situation.“.