Community litter collection in Essaouira, Sunday 23 November 2014

Baraka men zbel! Essaouira November 2014Concerned about the natural environment in Essaouira and determined to make our small city attractive for residents and visitors, a number of individuals, associations and companies have come together under the slogan:

Baraka men zbel! Ça suffit des déchets! Stop the litter!

As a first activity, with a view to many more, a community rubbish collection was held on Sunday 23 November  with local associations, residents and young people in the Skala neighbourhood of Essaouira.

The event was organised by Association Argania in collaboration with the company Écotourisme et Randonnées. As well as a number of local residents and expatriates, several youth associations attended with their members and beneficiaries, including Association Bayti, Association Douar Laraiche, the Basketball Club CAS, Association Swira (from Belgium), Association for the Integration of Disadvantaged Youth in Essaouira (AIeDE) and Peace Corps. In total, around 80 people attended – around half adults (including several youth leaders) and half children and youth.

Despite wet weather, the participants met at 9:30 at the Skala Mosque. Gloves and bags were provided by Écotourisme et Randonnées and local waste management contractors, GMF. In total, participants collected around 140 bags of rubbish from the area above the dunes in Skala. This was collected by (and almost filled) a GMF truck after the event. The event finished at around midday.

The number of participants and the enthusiasm with which they undertook the activity demonstrated the interest and engagement of local Swiris – young and old – in the cleanliness of their local environment. Participants and other interested groups have asked for the event to be repeated regularly. Associations used the opportunity to network and exchange ideas and contacts for future joint activities. Following the event, the local authorities requested a meeting with the organisers to discuss potential future collaboration.

Baraka men zbel! Essaouira November 2014

credit: Olivia di Nucci

The aim of this initiative is to raise awareness about and generate actions to manage litter and trash in Essaouira. The plan is to develop further, regular activities to educate local people – young and old – to manage their litter responsibly.  We are determined to work together in partnership to educate and eradicate this problem. All are welcome – individuals, associations, authorities and private enterprise. We are actively seeking partners to support this initiative and ensure its success.

We will hold a meeting for all individuals and organisations interested in this initiative at Association Bayti on Monday 15 December at 6pm. Join the Facebook group for regular news and updates on activities.

For further information, please contact Ottmane Filali (tel: 06 70 91 58 77).

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