By Omar Bihmidine
By Omar Bihmidine
Morocco World News
Sidi Ifni, Nov 3, 2012
At first sight, many Moroccans will form a frowning face in rage over this “What if…!” It is high time we Moroccans stopped being curious about what has become of Americans when Hurricane Sandy mercilessly attacked the United States’ East Coast. It is good to ask after others, especially during the hard times the USA is currently going through after the storm Sandy destroyed many homes and left deaths and injuries in its wake.
Yet, why don’t we Moroccans go further and show some of our far-sightedness, wondering how we would be if Hurricane Sandy hit Morocco? Despite being a world power, the United States was damaged by the power of nature. What if Hurricane Sandy hit Morocco, a country where a few rain drops can flood the largest cities, such as Casablanca? Day in and night out, we Moroccans must give thanks to God for directing Sandy to America rather than to Morocco, for at the very least, America is a strong country and can mitigate its destructiveness.
Upon the recent rainfall in the majority of Moroccan cities, we have heard that a number of bridges have fallen down. When a few drops of rain pulverize our bridges, we should never blame the rain drops but rather the Moroccan government who appointed corrupt engineers to build them. For rain drops fall lightly, and when we do not assume responsibility for the safety of our roads, we are by implication putting our lives in jeopardy. If drops of rain agitates and tear apart the bridges we cross every day, we must conclude that the winds of the Hurricane Sandy would indubitably uproot our bridges and leave our vehicles stranded and the economy at a standstill for a maybe several weeks.
It is crystal clear that the Moroccan government hangs its head in ignominy whenever Rabat, Casablanca, Meknes, Fez or other cities are inundated with water from all sides. All the videos released so far, which describe flooding in many major cities, are proof that the infrastructure is not equipped and built well enough to contain the few intermittent rain drops. Wherever we go in Morocco during torrential rain, we stumble on the roads, carry each other crossing overflowing rivers and endangering our lives skipping holes on the roads.
All this trouble is simply due to a slightly heavy rainfall, but as usual, our problem is that we are not technically prepared for the dangers of the future. Multiplied several times, the rainfall we get here in Morocco makes no difference in European cities. But, in Moroccan cities and towns, it causes ignominious damage. When slightly heavier rainfall floods our cities, how do we expect Hurricane Sandy to approach our buildings, streets and everything in between? No doubt, Hurricane Sandy with the same strength will leave millions of Moroccans stranded, bring about more homelessness, leave thousands of Moroccans dead and millions, injured, and destroy Moroccan schools and universities. Hurricane Sandy has wreaked havoc to the most powerful country on earth. Imagine what it could have done to a country with ramshackle infrastructure.
What if Hurricane Sandy hit Morocco! Instead of filling buckets of rain water inside their homes and pouring them outside, Moroccan families would instead have bothered themselves with just survival. If Hurricane Sandy had hit Morocco, God forbid, Moroccans would have drowned because Moroccan authorities do not usually care to ask their citizens to evacuate in the case of danger. If Sandy had hit Morocco, electricity cables, which are level with the ground, would have killed many city dwellers.
If Sandy had hit Morocco, the first ones to flee from the calamity would be our senior officials. If Hurricane Sandy had hit Morocco, Abdlilah Benkirane would not have taken the necessary precautions as Barrack Obama had done. All these if-conditions are based on justified premises.
Let us consider how the Moroccan government reacted to the houses falling down in the old Medinas in Casablanca, Fez, Rabat and many other cities. What has the Moroccan government done to prevent the collapse of a number of houses as a consequence of torrential rain? Almost nothing!
Fortunately for Moroccans, Hurricane Sandy did not make its way towards Morocco. One thing Moroccans must all bear in mind is that they have no means and tools at hand whatsoever to resist and withstand the hurricane as the world power, America, has. Another thing they must also bear in mind is that if they had been plagued by Sandy, they would undoubtedly have perished on earth.
How can we expect Moroccans to flee from Hurricane Sandy when the roads leading to safer places are fraught with holes? How can we expect them to flee from the Hurricane when water pipes and sewers are so small that they burst out flowing heavily, forming a zigzaging flow of water? When Moroccans’ roofs fall down just because of a normal rainfall, expect that Hurricane Sandy would bury houses with peoople inside if it had blown into Morocco.
At a time when many countries have set out to diagnose the dangers the face so as to protect themselves, Morocco is still imprudent about the looming future. We must admit that the Moroccan government has proved careless now that the lives claimed by accidents, rainfalls, ramshackle houses, dilapidated roads and bridges, and by our poor infrastructure might well be deemed as a commonplace phenomenon.
In the absence of solid infrastructure that would help them cope with any contingency, Moroccans’ only refuge is to pray God and hope that their country will be spared by destructive disasters such as the one that hit the United States.
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