Rabat - Three days after King Mohammed VI instructed Head of Government Saad Eddine El Othmani to chair a committee to find solutions to water scarcity in the kingdom, El Othmani has promised that the group will “definitively resolve” the problem by 2018.
Rabat – Three days after King Mohammed VI instructed Head of Government Saad Eddine El Othmani to chair a committee to find solutions to water scarcity in the kingdom, El Othmani has promised that the group will “definitively resolve” the problem by 2018.
The ministerial committee appointed by the King to solve the problems of water scarcity in rural and mountainous areas “will soon begin its work,” said El Othmani at the Council of the Government held on October 5.
“The water issue is now strategic for the government following the royal instructions,” said the head of government.
The committee, formed by the ministers of the sectors concerned, will meet next week, according to a statement read by the government spokesman Mustapha El Khalfi after the government council.
The monarch gave the order to tackle water scarcity on Monday, while chairing a meeting of the council of ministers in Rabat which discussed the issue of dropping water reserves in several regions in the kingdom.
In recent months, residents of different regions, especially rural areas, have complained about an increasing scarcity of drinking and irrigation water. In cities like Ouazzane, Beni Melal, Zagora, Sefrou, and Azelal, Moroccans took to the streets to draw the government’s attention to the issue.
In rural areas, many groups organized long-distance marches to the regional government offices, sometimes facing blockades set up by the Gendarmerie.
The rate of access to drinking water in rural areas is expected to reach 96.5 percent by the end of 2017, with the state investing more than MAD 1 million in water supply projects, announced Secretary of State in charge of Water, Charafat Afilal, during the July 25 parliamentary session.
The government is in a critical position with regards to water policy. Morocco is one of the 36 countries facing “extremely high” levels of baseline water stress, with more than 80 percent of the water available to agricultural, domestic, and industrial users withdrawn annually. This leaves various communities and economic activities vulnerable to water scarcity, according to World Resources Institute, which has led to the current regional demonstrations on water scarcity.