Izgouren and Ilguiloda Water Project – Morocco

This project is made possible through the partnership of Water Charity and the National Peace Corps Association.

Ilguiloda and Izgouren, Ait Bayoud, Bizdad Province, Morocco

Community Description
The Izgouren Water Project was established to build a water sourcing system for one of the most remote communities in Morocco.  Ait Bayoud is comprised of a series of villages, the poorest of which are Izgouren and Ilguiloda. These communities are located atop a large plateau and are comprised of roughly 370 people. Both communities sustain themselves through subsistence farming, making access to water essential to their health as well as their livelihoods. However, the villages’ isolated location makes water collection a daily challenge.

Problem Addressed
Izgouren and Ilguiloda are two of the poorest communities in their region.  Both communities sustain themselves through subsistence farming, making access to water essential to their health as well as their livelihoods. However, the villages’ isolated location makes water collection a daily challenge.

Residents, primarily women, and children must walk several miles down the plateau to reach the nearest potable spring in order to meet the community’s water needs. This great need for water, especially in the hot summer months, often results in multiple trips to the spring that can consume an entire day.

Due to the current water problems, there is also a lack of education in these villages.  Since so many children are making the trip to bring water, they are unable to attend school.  Once the full scope of the project is complete, the villages with have access to water, one small area will have electricity, and education and women’s development programs will be initiated.  These will result in more children in school and a women’s association where local women will work to help provide financially for their families.

Project Description
The solution to the problem has been decided to be water tanks fed by a well, and then piped to various locations for the convenience of the villagers.

Currently, the project has mapped out piping routes, found a water tank site, and completed the source well for the water sourcing system. During this portion of the project, the well pump and control panel are being purchased.  The foundation will be laid for the water tanks, with piping run between the well site and water tank location.  The Water Committee is working with the new provincial president to set up electricity at the well location and start an education initiative with a local school.

The funds from Water Charity will contribute to all aspects of the new water system, including the purchase of the well pump and control panel, cement for the water tank foundation, and additional piping. Community members will be volunteering to install pipes and lay the water tank foundation. The communities are providing meals to all workers and volunteers while onsite.

Community Organization
Ait Bayoud Development Association

Project Impact
There will be approximately 370 people impacted by the project.

Peace Corps Volunteer Directing Project
Jessica Rushing

Monitoring and Maintenance 
In regards to sustainability, both the Ait Bayoud Development Association, a pre-existing group of community leaders dedicated to improving local infrastructure, and the Water Committee, the group financially responsible for the project in the long term, are involved in the planning. This collaborative spirit will be built upon to transition into the implementation phase of the project.

Additionally, local labor will be relied upon for the construction of the piping system and water tank, allowing community members to gain the technical knowledge and the skills required for long-term maintenance of the project. The new education initiative will provide the younger generation with knowledge of how to preserve the well when the older generation cannot.

Previous experiences with the Izgouren community, like training a few volunteers to collect river flow-rate data, have allowed a connection with the villagers on a personal level. The goal of the river program, and the subsequent programs being developed, is to actively involve the community throughout the project to show them the internal workings of the design and build a sense of community pride around the project. Following project completion, a set of picture-based usage guides will be developed that will be used in our post-implementation education program. This program and the education initiative will put a strong emphasis on not only correctly using the water system, but also smart water management habits to maintain the long term health and sustainability of the aquifer.

While this is not officially a Let Girls Learn project, bringing water to these villages will allow girls to go to school. Ultimately, the project seeks to provide solutions to a combination of health and social challenges brought by water insecurity.

This project has been funded by an anonymous donor.

This project has been completed.  To read about the conclusion, CLICK HERE.