Akabar - Sahara Treks - Come with us! Experience desert and nomad culture in Morocco!

TheTafraout area in Jebel Bani

 
The valley of Tafraout - in the Jbel Bani mountains - is located about 2 driving hours from Zagora. Only since mid-March 2016 electricity is switched on, telephone network is now almost everywhere in the main settlement area. Depending on where one lives in Tafraout, there is more or less water, because the valley is traversed by an underground water line similar to a river. Thus, the wells are also of different depth, e.g. approx. 140 m at the new nomad school near the end of the valley. If necessary, the inhabitants pump water into an open container, which is a few hundred meters from the house; women and children carry many canisters of water daily into their homes. There are hardly any toilets and showers. For cooking, they use the wood, which is gathered on the daily walk of the herdsmen and shepherds. The nomads in the mountains take water, if available, from water holes or walk with a donkey to a fountain farther away. There, the laundry is also washed.
In the past two or three years, the inhabitants of Tafraout have built a piste along the valley by stages, while the state supported them with appliances.
For about two years, agriculture in Tafraout has developed very rapidly. When around the years 2012/2013 only some semi-nomads grew water melons in their gardens, todays you can see everywhere melon fields, pumps and distributors for droplet irrigation. The state has recently provided support for farmers in the form of water storage (circa 20x5x3m) and pump houses. The people are concentrating on the cultivation of watermelons, which are the first to mature in this region of Morocco and to bring people a good income. When looking at the nomad houses, however, no change is found. The daily drinking and water is still carried with canisters from the open well into the house, it is still cooked with wood and baked.

 

 

Help Projects

Since years the nomadic families of Tafraout have been supported with great commitment by the Italian company "Associazione Mondo Incantato"who have financed the school building of the nomad school and the teacher The Associazione Mondo Incantato applied to FAO in 2013 http://www.fao.org/home/en/ for financial support for the nomad families; these were granted and paid.  Since the beginning of 2017, the second nomad school of Tafraout has been in operation in the eastern part of the area. "Ingenieure ohne Grenzen" let build a water tank, so the school has toilets, showers and a simple kitchen. Children and parents were enlightened about hygienic measures; appropriate information is attached next to the table in the classroom.
 
Thanks to the generous donation of my employer, Sparkasse Markgräflerland, Müllheim and Weil am Rhein, the water container on the school grounds of the old nomad school plus water pipes for kitchens and toilets could be completed in 2013. A new, large room was built and serves as a kitchen. The work was done by the members of Akabar Association. The nomadic school has now developed into a community center. There are 4 sewing machines and a carpet-knitting frame in the craft room. Since March 2013 the school has a solar collector with an inverter. Since 2015 there is a separate water supply.
By chance I came across the organization's commitment "Ingenieure ohne Grenzen" and as since summer 2012 families left the valley Tafraout after years of drought, I described the situation to the employees of Berlin headquarters of the "engineers" and asked for possible assistance. In August 2013 Hafid Benyachou and I visited the Berlin and we heard that the group "Munich" was interested in the job. There was a lot of correspondence, Skype and sending rock samples to Munich. In November 2014 there were two teams of "engineers" in the Tafraout valley who examined with the support of Hafid and association Akabar almost all wells in the valley. About the implementation of the project see the following websites:
  http://www.ingenieure-ohne-grenzen.org/de/Projekte
  https://www.betterplace.org/de/projects/33606-verbesserung-der-wasserversorgung-fur-berberfamilien-implementierung

 

Trekking guests from our Swiss partner have provided a larger sum for the medical care of the nomadic families of the Jebel Bani area.



Together with the community of nomads Tafraout/Sahara "Association Akabar for Sustainable Development and Culture - الثقافة و للتنمية أكابار جمعية" we develop the following measures:

    
oven for operating a bakery **


   
English lessons for trekking companions

** Young nomad women wish to start a bakery to supply the families of Tafraout with baked goods.