CBA Morocco: Agroforestry and Soil/Water Conservation in the Boumaad Community (Fouss)

Introduction

Morocco’s Boumaad community is located in the Rif Oriental, a few kilometers from the Mediterranean coast. Its approximately 320 residents live almost exclusively on traditional mountain farming and extensive breeding. The village, located at the summit of a mountain, surrounded by rivers, suffers from strong isolation and lack of basic infrastructures, which have led a great part of the population to emigrate, such that today, women represent 75% of the village’s population. Under climate change, the village is experiencing an increase in average temperatures and heat waves, intensified drought periods, and increased frequency and unpredictability of extreme rainfalls. The community’s primary resources are more and more affected by the rising risks of drought, flooding and erosion.

This Community-Based Adaptation project aims to strengthen the local ecosystem’s resiliency and build the Boumaad community’s capacity to adapt. The project implements several complementary adaptation strategies: protection and conservation of water resources, soil fixation and regeneration, strengthening of agroforestry, and diversification of revenues.

This project is part of Morocco's Community-Based Adaptation portfolio. *

Project Details

Boumaad is a small rural douar (village) in the Rural Commune of Boudinar, located in Morocco’s Rif Oriental near the Mediterranean coast. The douar is cut into three parts. It is at the center of the commune, on a tall hill, and is surrounded by several oueds (rivers), which isolate it during the rainy periods. The Boumaad community is made up of approximately 320 residents, distributed into 60 homes.

The village’s population is mostly female (women represent approximately 75% of the douar’s population), because of the massive (permanent or temporary) emigration of men toward nearby or foreign urban centers. This male rural exodus is linked to the village’s socioeconomic situation, and also to climatic events. The educational level in the douar is low, especially for women, due to the persistence of certain traditions in the rural environment that still represent factors hindering girls’ education. Women contribute enormously to farming during all the phases of the agricultural cycle: seeding, irrigation, weeding and field maintenance, as well as the harvest and storing of farm products. They are also involved in livestock breeding, which has become increasingly difficult with irregular water availability.

Climate change accentuates the basic phenomena of the area. Impact studies have shown that the zone is subject to climate events with considerable repercussions for the local population. The region experienced periods of severe drought during the 1980s that adversely affected the population, which depends on natural resources and farming. Moreover, the zone experienced extreme pluviometric events in 2007 (exceptional storms, downpours), which caused the Amkrane oued’s water level to rise. This river goes through the Boudinar commune and therefore caused it destructive flooding.

With climate change, rainfall variability has been increasing from year to year, increasing the risk of catastrophes, such as floods, debris flows and water erosion. Moreover, the increase in temperatures and overall drop in rainfall lead to increased evaporation and reduced underground water resources. This lack of water encourages abandonment of farmlands, reduced vegetation cover, and a resultant increase in erosion. The Boumaad douar is therefore exposed to strong risks of erosion, flooding and drought. Women, who are more numerous than men in the village and whose responsibilities make them particularly vulnerable, expect particularly negative effects.

This Community-Based Adaptation project seeks to build the local community’s capacity to face these impacts of climate change. Conservation and management of water resources will be improved, making the community more resilient. Local farming and tree cultivation will be strengthened, thanks to resilient planting and to improved irrigation infrastructures.

The project’s activities will enable the population to secure its living conditions, reduce poverty and household vulnerability toward the harmful effects of climate change, and diminish the rural exodus that has itself helped weaken the ecosystem and community.

The project supports community efforts to improve water management, particularly during times of scarcity. Farming will be made easier for farmers through an irrigation canal. Thanks to newly built water basins, women will spend less effort and time to gather water, and the pressure on the limited water sources will be alleviated.

Thematic Area: 
Climate-Related Hazards Addressed: 
Level of Intervention: 
Key Collaborators: 
Primary Beneficiaries: 
Farmers/Pastoralists; Women; Mountain Communities
Implementing Agencies & Partnering Organizations: 
Fouss G Fouss Association for culture, the environment and social development
United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
Global Environment Facility (GEF)
The GEF Small Grants Programme
UN Volunteers
Project Status: 
Under Implementation
Location: 
Rural
Funding Source: 
Financing Amount: 
$25,354
Co-Financing Total: 
$40,050.38

Key Results and Outputs

Outcome 1: Strengthened ecosystem resiliency through water resource protection/conservation and soil fixation

Secure access to drinking water by creating 5 small dry stone contours and installing a platform to access the source (Output 1.1). Install 3 rainwater and run-off conservation basins (Output 1.2), then plant aromatic and medicinal plants around them to rehabilitate 3 ha of soil (Output 1.3). Restore and consolidate canalization system to increase resiliency and promote sustainable management of irrigated water (Output 1.4).

Outcome 2: Increased community capacity to adapt through agroforestry and income-diversification

Plant resilient agroforestry species (olive, almond, and carob trees) to fixate 100 ha of eroded soils (Output 2.1). Workshops and training on agroforestry and conservative soil and water management (Output 2.2). Reduce women’s vulnerability through training programme on Aromatic and Medicinal plants (Output 2.3).

Outcome 3: Disseminate lessons learned for incorporation into local/regional policies

Monitor and document all stages of implementation (Output 3.1) and evaluate, capitalize disseminate the results (Output 3.2).

Monitoring and Evaluation

1. Monitoring of the Project

Progress reports to be presented every four months:

Production of a progress report regularly by the NGO : this report will present the state of the project’s achievements and be produced by the NGO every four months. It will include a narrative report and financial report.

Monitoring of the community contribution:

For each of the project’s activities, a table will indicate the names of the community participants / volunteers, their contribution and the number of days they have contributed.

Visits of the site:

The CBA will organize at least two visits to monitor and evaluate the project. These visits will coincide with workshops held to assess vulnerability.

2. Project Evaluation

Internal Evaluation:

The association will conduct regular participative evaluations of the project (every 6 months). These evaluations will be conducted by the NGO and will involve the communities and local actors concerned. They will consist of the following:

  • Assess the degree of achievement of the project’s activities (tool to be used: schedule of the project’s activities)
  • Assess how results and impact indicators will have been reached (tool to be used: project’s logical framework)
  • Identify limitations and define measures to be undertaken to overcome them
  • Gather the advice and recommendations of the local community/actors in order to readjust the project

These evaluations will be conducted through enlarged meetings with the community and visits in the field. At the end of these evaluations, the NGO will produce a brief illustrated report.

Final External Evaluation:

This evaluation will be conducted in a participative manner by a consultant whom the NGO will hire (based on an invitation to bid).

It will rely on community evaluation reports and its goal will be to evaluate the following :

  • The project’s achievements
  • The measurement of indicators
  • The degree to which the project’s goals have been achieved
  • The project’s impact on the community (socioeconomic and environmental) based on the indicators defined below
  • The project’s sustainability
  • The crucial evaluation of community adaptation solutions and possibilities of replication/dissemination of the experience

The external evaluation will conclude the following:

  • The project’s strengths and weaknesses
  • Lessons learned and recommendations

Contacts

Fouss G Fouss
Hassan Bouadil
Vice-President of the Association
UNDP
CBA Project Management Unit