Environment and Biodiversity
Noureddine El Achab
15,000 € to the Selection Committee at 2008/07/01
« I'm a native of the town of Chefchaouen, in the heart of the Rif Mountains, and deeply involved in nature conservation issues.
For me, reducing the felling of trees for firewood by introducing quality gas furnaces in the homes, and enlisting the population in a forestry cooperative, are very important projects. And besides, this project will lessen the daily burden of the women who gather the wood and enable them to use this valuable time to attend literacy courses. It's a project with double benefits. »
The Association RIF pour le Développement de Bellota (ARDB), created to promote the economic development of the region of Bellota, in an environment friendly way, has already succeeded in building a school, providing drinking water to the village of Bellota, and for the plantation of 10,000 olive trees and 1000 carob trees, while training the inhabitants of the area in arboriculture.
It is grappling today with the major issue of reducing the felling of trees to provide heat for the homes, the hammam, and for baking the bread.
A project that will improve the living conditions of the women
Today, in fact, the traditional appliances are pollutant and inefficient in supplying a large population with the energy it needs. Besides, wood gathering is also a painful and exhausting chore, mainly handled by the women. ARDB therefore decided to address these two issues by creating a forestry cooperative.
Within this organization, it will initiate projects to reduce household wood consumption, promote participative management of the nearby biomass, minimize the gathering of wood which burdens the women, and start new economic activities.
In connection with this comprehensive program, the Veolia foundation was contacted by ARDB to help it acquire collective gas ovens in which the women can bake their bread. They will then be used to launch a professional pastry course.
Thanks to these new facilities, the women will be released from a large part of the wood gathering and can devote the time they save to attend literacy courses.
Besides, this reliance on gas will ensure less use of firewood and hence more balanced management of the surrounding forests.