Rabat - Minister of Energy, Mining and Sustainable Development, Aziz Rabbah said Tuesday in Rabat that between 2003 and 2017, investments in Jerada have to amounted to MAD 12.3 billion.
Rabat – Minister of Energy, Mining and Sustainable Development, Aziz Rabbah said Tuesday in Rabat that between 2003 and 2017, investments in Jerada have to amounted to MAD 12.3 billion.
“Over 220 projects were planned to enhance the infrastructure of the city, for an overall budget of about MAD 1.543 billion,” Rebah said at the House of Councilors.
The economic sectors, with 28 projects, required a budget of over MAD 10 million, particularly the energy sector.
In the social field, investments were allocated for 111 projects for a budget of MAD 380 million, in addition to 336 projects carried under the National Initiative for Human Development (INDH) worth MAD 340 million, he added.
The minister also said that after the closure of Jerada’s mine, the government signed a collective agreement to compensate the miners, amounting to MAD 2.2 billion, specifying that 4,647 employees received compensation worth over MAD 1.3 billion.
As to the economic activity created after the closure of the mine, Rebah said that over 100 people are currently working in Jerada Thermal Power Plant’s units.
The minister added that the government intends to establish a fourth unit worth MAD 3 billion, which will create an additional 400 jobs for the local population. The government also plans to build a fifth power station in Jerada, as well as the extension of the Beni Mathar power plant, to improve its productivity and increase the number of jobs.
However, Esmahan Ait Ben Heda, president of the Human Rights Center in Jerada told Morocco World News that the onlypower plant in questions employs workers from outside of Jerada.
“It doesn’t make any sense that while Jerada’s youth are very bright and willing to work, the factory owners employ people from outside of the region. And to make things worse, we pay up to MAD 1000 for the electricity bill, when most people are too poor to afford electronics or even use light bulbs,” she said.
Ten days prior to the death of Houcine and Jedouane Dioui, two miners who drowned in the flooding of an underground mining well, Jerada was already flustered by a series of protests against high priced electricity and water bills.
“How can you expect people to pay expensive bills when they barely make enough to feed themselves and their children. The golden days of Jerada ended in the 90s, people now live in utter tragedy,” Ahmed Belatay, member of the Moroccan Association for Human Rights (AMDH) told Morocco World News, calming the miners never received the compensations after the closure of the mine.