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Water Scarcity: Moroccans to Perform Prayer for Rain Dec. 1st

The Ministry of Endowment and Islamic Affairs announced on Thursday that the rogatory prayers (Salat al-Istisqa) will be performed on Friday, 17 Joumada Al-Oula 1445, at 10:00 A.M. in major mosques and Musallas throughout the Kingdom’s regions and provinces, in accordance with royal orders of King Mohammed VI, Commander of the Faithful (Amir Al-Mouminine).

Whenever rainfall is scarce, King Mohammed VI decides to perform rain prayers to implore God to spread his blessing rains over the land, as the Quran says, “And it is He who sends down the rain after they had despaired and spreads His mercy.”

Morocco is facing extreme water scarcity and ranks 27th among countries most at risk of chronic water shortages, according to the World Resource Institute.

Water levels have decreased in Morocco as a result of extended precipitation scarcity and high temperatures in various regions, raising concerns about the supply of drinking water and agricultural irrigation, particularly during the driest months of the year.

To address the situation, the Canada-African Development Bank Climate Fund has approved an $18 million loan to Morocco’s OCP Group for the construction of three seawater desalination plants. Between 2023 and 2025, the agreement expects to produce 85 million cubic meters of water, increasing to 110 million cubic meters yearly beginning in 2026. In Safi, OCP Group has already generated 10 million cubic meters of desalinated water, while in El Jadida, it has produced 30 million cubic meters.

The King had convened a working session in May to evaluate the National Program for Drinking Water Supply and Irrigation 2020-2027, highlighting the significance of water management. Nizar Baraka, Minister of Equipment and Water, had examined the program’s progress and suggested an extra 143 billion dirhams in spending.

Morocco is increasing water storage capacity by hastening the connectivity of the Sebou, Bouregreg, and Oum Er-Rbia basins and by building additional dams to increase water distribution to rural areas.

In addition, the World Bank (WB) had approved a $350 million finance program in late July to assist Morocco in implementing its 2020-2027 National Potable Water Supply and Irrigation Program (PNAEPI), which constitutes part of the country’s 2020-2050 water plan.

The program intends to increase Morocco’s water resources by boosting desalination and reuse of treated water–ostensibly to improve financial sustainability and efficiency–as the country approaches the critical 500 cubic meters-per-person-per-year threshold by 2030.