By Omar Bihmidine
By Omar Bihmidine
Morocco World News
Sidi Ifni, March 9, 2012
For the sake of public safety and the promotion of rule of law, the Moroccan government is justified in ending illegal practices in the construction of homes. With homes continuing to be built without proper permits and supervision, the government must address some difficult questions: where is government regulation of the construction industry? why has the government failed to properly monitor the permit application and award process? where is the government public education campaign about the danger of living in homes that were poorly constructed?
Yesterday, local authorities in El Jadida demolished a number of illegally built buildings, ranging from residential homes, commercial shops and “shanty towns” on the outskirts of El Jadida. As expected, owners of the units were on the defensive and protested the demolitions. In analyzing the government’s actions in El Jadida, we could only say that “two wrongs don’t make right”.
While those in El Jadida were in clear violation of local laws regulating the construction of homes, they are not solely the blame. Those who built the residential and commercial units, as well as the “shanty towns” did not realize they were building illegal units because the government failed to properly intervene during the initial construction of said units. In trying to remedy a broken process, the government fought fire with fire! The demolition of the units will inevitably generate anger and hatred towards the government.
The housing crunch in Morocco’s urban areas, such as El Jadida, has driven many to circumvent construction laws and build shoddy housing units that are unsafe, unregulated and overpopulated. The government’s strategy of home demolition is shortsighted and cruel at best as it leaves many families, especially women and children, homeless, despondent and hopeless. For example, in El Jadida, a woman threatened to commit suicide if the government demolished her only house. It remains a mystery why a government that once exercised leniency in granting construction licenses would suddenly engage in demolishing homes as a means of remedying past government neglect.
Editing by Hisham El Koustaf
© Morocco World News. All Rights Reserved