31 May 2006

Merzouga floods.

Merzouga. Morocco. floods. Who talks.

This is te updates from Mrezouga.
Youssef was there last night and he is editing some video footage to put in dailymotion.com. but for those of us who now Merzouga, it is almost no more there. The old village has all gone. It all melted under the heavy rains this past week. Youssef says it is really hard for anyone to see the village becoming just piles and piles of adobe and bricks. Merzouga has gone.
Every summer there are thousands of people who visit Merzouga for therapy. They take sand baths. Villagers rent rooms and provide shelter and service for these people. Their houses are their only source of revenue. Now all gone.
People are lost and nobody really knows what to do now. What direction to take. Said youssef. The village is no-more the village.
It is really a serious situation out there. Families that have been there have never seen this before. Even in the floods of 1965.
(photo cortesey of i-cias.com)


Annmarie said...

Was just in Merzougas last week with my niece-our guide, Lahcen, just emailed us to tell us he returned home to find his family ok, but his home half washed away-hard to believe, they are on the edge of the Sahara-we spent the night there with a family of Berbers (Lahcen is also Berber). Apparently Merzouga is in really bad shape-what a shame, the town was full of friendly people ready to invite you into their homes.

Bouba said...

@annmarie,thank you for your comment.
it is hard to believe that half the village of Merzouga that has been there for a long time has all gone.
Merzouga was destroyes.
relatives and people i know live in tents but not like the tents Berbers were used to. these ar eplastic tents that will remind them that they do not have homes and nobody cares.
people rent their homes to visiters in summer. that all to be done in merzoga.
it is so sad

Gerri said...

Hey Bouba, I was searching for news about the Merzouga floods when I came across your blog. I'm very sorry for your friend's and family's loss of their homes. My husband has family there but luckily their home is still intact. The family of a friend living here weren't so lucky though and they are all living in a tent as well. Any idea if those that lost their homes are going to get assistance from the government to have new homes built?

Vancouver, Canada

Gerri said...

Forgot to say that it's great to see a blog written by a Berber. Will check back often for updates. Take care :)

Lalla Matisha said...

Wow... I can't believe that half of Merzouga is gone, or at least the one we knew... a flood near the desert??? This is baffling, I have to read more about this one. I hope the people there are finding a way to keep their spirits up although that's no easy feat. Thanks for helping to keep me informed...

miguel rato said...

It will not bring back Merzouga or Errachidia, but i hope these news i'm giving may sound as a good -one of many, i wish- pronounce for the next times: a portuguese association which is very aware of that region, since it has been running 4WD expeditions throughout Morocco for several years (and always stays at Merzouga when visiting the Erg Chebbi), is gathering food (not perishable goods) and clothes, and will depart from Lisboa next wednesday (14th June), towards the affected area.

I'm also personally involved on settling the network of people making its donation, since i'm closely related to the association, named "AGAPE" (they have managed to get a lory/truck from a pharmaceutics company, which is giving it's best support so that the delivery shall take place as scheduled). They are now running a fine storage of goods.

Despite poor coverage on the media (TV Focus), "AGAPE" has worked hard on the web, and there are now hundreds of people aware of the situation, and willing to give.

My best wishes!

Seixal, Portugal

Bouba said...

@Miguel, thank you for the infos.
as a matter of act the government is not doing a lot. i am glad people are getting more aware of this. Merzouga has provided a lt to people all over the world. i do not know how many people visited and had a good time there. some will say but we paid for it other will say well there is somthing beyong money that you always gat when you go to the desert. may be it is the hospitality, the extra miles that tourism orkers do, maybe it is just a good chat on the dunes with a berber friens.
people need to feel they are suported by the same people with whom they share d their time, their culture and themselves,
@Migel thank you for your suport.

@matisha, thank you , i will write more,
thank you,
the government is still promissing things. but summer in here and people need shelter. people cant rent their homes now for the summer sand-beth therapy that is the main source of income for people in te village of merzouga.
tourism is another source but it also dropped a lot after the floods.
but people like you, and migel and others are the ones who give suport.
people need people with them.
..you know how we are... thank you,

Arehal said...

aza sahbi u khouya
c'est fraiment désolant, Merzouga, talessint qui au lieu du petrole elle a eu 135 mm de pluie, Rich trois amazigh ont pris refuge dans une grotte, ils y sont resté.
je suis frustré et mal à l'aise. quand il s'agissait un jour de 2004 de Hoceima, les deux chaine de TV se sont déplacer avec plusieurs équipes pour suivre l'évolution des choses. à Merzouga, les reporters de la TV nous annoncent que c'est bénéfique pour nous ces pluies torentielles. comme si nous avons demandé de l'eau au gouvernement. nous habitions notre desert depuis des miliers d'années et nous n'avons jamais souffert de soif pour la simple raison que nous sommes du desert et nous l'aimons comme il nous héberge.
je suis désolé pour tous les notre qui sont mort ou blessés et j'en suis certains que les gens du desert qui ont construit les KHETTARAS et qui ont su marcher dans la nuit en plain de desert en plus leur mythoogie d'existence sauront se relever après cette catastrophe.

Bouba said...

iunderstand your frastration brother,
but we never really thought of strarting an independent republic in errachidia which is quite feasable....
thank you. i see what you mean and this is really frastrating that our respected governmnet and the people who expoloited our land and our desert for their own fantacies are not doing anything. i mean the tour-lords of our country.
now it is time for them pul themselves together and do somthing...