Washington- King Mohammed VI has caused a stir following his latest speech detailing the catastrophic state of the economic capital of the country, Casablanca.
The king’s words of warning woke up Casablanca’s provincial departments, local authorities, and the city council to declare a state of emergency in the city to initiate an “examination of the problems facing it, including in the areas of public services, wastewater treatment, and the safety of shanty towns that have surrounded and smothered the city.” ??
In an article detailing the direct causes of the disastrous state of Casablanca, Al Massae reported that a few hours after the shock of the king’s speech addressed to city managers, “the city Council quickly met to discuss critical issues addressed in the royal speech.”
Al Massae reported that all political groups represented on the council were surprised by the criticism and said that the responsibility of failures by the city management penetrated varying degrees of the city structure, leading to a deep and permanent crisis. ??
According to the same source quoted by Al Massae, “the office of the city council made three urgent decisions to comply with the royal speech. One of them was to declare a state of emergency and to take immediate action in restructuring sanitation, hygiene, and the fight against the negative city areas.”
The king also paid particular attention to infrastructure problems that seriously affect the city and cause weather problems, such as floods every winter. Moreover, he urged local authorities to increase efforts to “collect more taxed income to allocate toward urgently needed infrastructure projects.”
Morocco’s most populated city has recently experienced two major crises, the first related to problems with local democracy and the second with public criticism of Casablanca city governance, two endemic areas that have not only tarnished the image of the city council but also the image of the city itself.
These crises have affected the standard of living and future of Casablanca’s inhabitants. The resolution of this crisis must begin with the identification and acknowledgement of priorities for the city, particularly, ending the state of impunity of the city council.
Elected officials and authorities of the city have the responsibility to engage in a binding and mandatory reform agenda to move forward on the path of good governance for the city. Casablanca can also act as an example to other growing cities in the country to scrutinize the state of city affairs and plan for a stable and prosperous future.
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