Rabat – As snow and rainfall are making travel impossible to and from several mountainous and rural regions in Morocco, delaying travel plans for thousands and causing schools to shut down, the Government has launched an “exceptional mobilization,” to respond to the consequences of the cold wave.
Snowstorms have prevented travel on 38 national roads and shut down almost 900 rural schools.
A statement given by the Ministry of Interior indicated that King Mohammed VI ordered government officials to take steps to open up affected areas and provide assistance to inhabitants.
Following King Mohammed VI’s instructions, Head of Government Saad Eddine El Othmani tabled the question during February 8 Governmental Council.
He said that “an exceptional mobilization” has been put in place by various authorities responsible for opening the roads to areas isolated by the fall of heavy snow.
This mission will benefit about 514 thousand people in 22 different provinces. Departments from the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of National Education, the Royal Gendarmerie and the Auxiliary Forces and Civil Protection will monitor its progress.
However, the Head of Government explained that despite these efforts “there are difficulties in some areas, mainly due to insufficient numbers of available snowplows.”
These snowstorms, which reached up 200 centimeters, have caused damage in areas “where it hasn’t snowed for at least 50 years.”
But El Othmani is optimistic. For him, “this does not prevent us from intervening,” by providing medical, shelter and food aid.
El Othmani confirmed that more than 600 doctors, and nearly 2,000 nurses were mobilized to provide medical assistance to areas isolated due to snow and heavy rain.
Additional healthcare has been made available to pregnant women, and 373 women in the delivery phase have been treated in general or specialized maternity hospitals, while special helicopters were mobilized to evacuate urgent cases to nearby hospitals.
“The affected areas have also benefited from large quantities of food supplies, including flour, rice, sugar, tea, salt, oil and milk as well as blankets to fend the cold,” El Othmani Said.
Student houses, boarding schools, hospitals, medical centers, and orphanages were supplied with blankets, according to a statement from Mohammed VI Solidarity Foundation.
Despite all of these efforts, King Mohammed VI see that there is more to do to provide comfort for the rural areas of the country. El Othmani agrees and in turn stressed that aid will continue until the weather returns to normal.