Families sleeping in tents and temporary shelters after the September 8 earthquake in the Atlas Mountains in Morocco are already enjoying more permanent shelters before the cooler fall temperatures set in, leaders of the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) in Spain said.
October 28 was a day of celebration for all of them, as ADRA Spain participated in the official handover of the keys to the 32 families already occupying the eight temporary shelters financed with the help of ADRA’s international network. Morocco’s government officers also attended the ceremony.
Daniel Abad, ADRA Spain coordinator in Morocco, witnessed the ceremony of handing over the keys and signing temporary agreements. In the signed agreements, families commit to taking care of the houses for as long as they occupy them, until their villages are rebuilt. In the future, these facilities will be repurposed to house, among other uses, schools or local craft shops that can provide work for women in the area, ADRA leaders said.
“These prefabricated houses insulated for humidity and heat have a lease for as long as they need to build the town,” Abad said. “Subsequently, they will be dismantled and taken to other locations where it is necessary to put schools or store material from warehouses.”
Abad added that all the streets in the area have been paved so residents are not affected by rain. ADRA has included flowerbeds, a communal toilet facility, and a children’s area. “All the houses comply with local regulations and have electricity,” Abad said. “And everyone can also access an equipped communal kitchen.”
The initiative, carried out in collaboration with a local nonprofit organization, saw houses rise in as fast as two to three days, ADRA leaders said.
The project consists of eight 16-square-meter (172-square-foot) prefabricated houses, which include four dormitories, latrines, showers, and a communal kitchen in each.
ADRA Spain, in close collaboration with ADRA International, continues to coordinate the emergency humanitarian response deployed in the Atlas Mountains to deal with the consequences of the Marrakech-Safi earthquake.
The first phase of the response involved an investment of US$150,000, which made it possible to directly assist 812 families and a total of 4,226 affected people. In those first four weeks, ADRA distributed a total of 2,595 emergency kits to a total of 519 families. The distributed kits included food, blankets and warm clothes, flashlights, socks, soap for personal hygiene, sanitary pads for women, and sanitary wipes that can be used where there is no access to water.
ADRA also distributed children’s socks and warm clothes, as well as school supplies, including backpacks, notebooks, colored pencils, and pens.
Another of the projects launched by ADRA has been the delivery of 150 goats and food to feed them for two months to a total of 30 families in four villages located in the Atlas Mountains. The project, which ADRA developed in collaboration with a local nonprofit organization, included an investment of about 10,000 euros.
These projects, and the entire humanitarian response deployed in Morocco by ADRA, are possible thanks to the selfless funding of several partners, ADRA Spain said. They included other branches of the ADRA International network, including ADRA Germany, ADRA Japan, ADRA Australia, ADRA France, ADRA Canada, ADRA Netherlands, ADRA Belgium, ADRA Austria, ADRA Europe, ADRA Austria, ADRA Norway, ADRA New Zealand, ADRA Czech Republic, ADRA Portugal, and ADRA Switzerland, they said.