Environmentalist calls for dam construction to be stopped

The situation at the mouth of the Oum Errabiâ River is worrying. The alarm signal had been sounded by environmentalists to finally arrive in the hemicycle. Decision had been made to send a exploratory mission which delivered its conclusions.

In presenting the mission’s report, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rachid Talbi Alami, referred to a parliamentary consensus on the need to implement the recommendations made, in particular the creation of an agency or a company responsible for to develop the mouth of Oum Errabiâ, like the lagoon of Marchica, Oued Martil and Oued Bouregreg.

The debate evoked several proposals, between text of law made by the supervising ministry (Equipment and Water), or still by the room in its quality of legislative Institution, the objective being to arrange the mouth while being based on the updated texts of a group of planning agencies.

Abundant in the same direction, Nizar Baraka, responsible for the sector, considered that we should not turn a blind eye to this question, especially since Morocco has now exhausted the traditional mode of river management and that so you have to move on to something new, like other successful experiences.

However, for Mohamed Benata, Agricultural Engineer, Doctor of Geography, President of the Espace de Solidarité et de Coopération de l’Oriental (ESCO), the problem lies elsewhere.

Solicited by MoroccoLatestNews UKBenata, also coordinator of the ECOLOPLATFORME of Northern Morocco (ECOLOMAN), indicated that the main source of the evil suffered by Oum Errabiâ is the construction of a dam 30 km from the mouth.

The temporary exploratory mission on the situation of the mouth of the Oum Errabiâ river, carried out an analysis which demonstrated that the main cause of the problem of the mouth of Oued Oum Errabiâ, began with the construction of a dam at 30km from the mouth. And that’s in the commission’s recommendations. So we have to review the advisability of the dam. We must have the courage to say that this dam was badly designed and is badly located, and therefore we must simply eliminate it“, estimated the environmental activist.

According to the expert, the concerns of environmental specialists in Morocco concerning the mouth of Oued Oum Errabiâ, is the same concerning the mouth of the Moulouya, with the construction of the Machraa Safsaf dam downstream of the last Machraa dam. Hammadi, which will generate the same problem as that which arises in Moulouya, that is to say the construction of a dam which is not justified from an ecological point of view and which does not take advantage of the everything to the citizens.

In parallel with the construction of this dam, there are large landowners who have started to build private dams to exploit the water, while there are laws regulating the exploitation of water. So there is a certain anarchy in this sector, whether at the level of the administration, or at the level of the big owners.“, notes the ecologist.

In this sense, Mohamed Benata insists on the respect of the ecological flow, thus expressing his wish that “The parliamentarians who visited the mouth of Oued Oum Errabiâ reveal with complete frankness, and all responsibility, that the dam under construction is badly located, and the anarchic overexploitation of the big landowners must be stopped, while respecting the ecological flow of ‘Oum Errabiâ so that it preserves its dynamics and continues its journey towards the sea in a normal way“.

Our interlocutor is categorical: “It is not the scarcity of rainfall that has reduced the water flow in the mouth of Oum Errabiâ, but rather the poorly thought out actss”.

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