Participatory Regional Development in the Ouneine Valley

Improvement of living standard, income, and sustainable use natural resources by means of reforestation, renewable energy, and improvement of the communal infrastructure in the Moroccan High Atlas

  • Sectors: Integrated rural development, Water supply and sanitation
  • Duration: 05/1991 – 12/2001
  • Volume: 1.2 Mill. Euro
  • Persons/ Months: 7
  • Client: Austrian Development Cooperation, Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Vienna
  • Partners: Institut Agronomique et Vétérinaire Hassan II, Rabat,
    NGO Targa-Aide, Rabat

The project was implemented in the remote Ouneine valley in the High Atlas Mountains south of Marrakech. Approximately 9.000 inhabitants live there in 65 villages, practising irrigated crop production (terrace cultivation) and extensive livestock keeping (goats and sheep). The project-s main objective is to improve the living standard as well as raising income, especially for women and young people.
In close cooperation with the target groups, the project promotes measures for the preservation of natural resources, e.g. reforestation and electricity supply on the basis of renewable energies. Another topic is the improvement of the communal infrastructure, e.g. schools, public baths, water supply for households and irrigation as well as an evacuation system for used waters.
Following the principle that sustainable change can only be achieved through participation, the execution of every activity is decided together with the village representatives. The population participates also financially and by working at the project sites. The project also includes capacity building for local development organisations.

As important basic information on physical and other constraints in the valley is lacking, researchers from the agricultural universities of Rabat and Vienna are establishing an integrated (GIS) data source concerning hydrology, geology and soil conditions, climatic conditions, social and economic factors. This should allow for better planning of further actions.
Austroprojekt contributed in each phase of this project, providing planning, monitoring and evaluation experts as well as procurement for imported equipment.

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