MOROCCO After the Tragic Death of 8 People in Taroudant Natural or Political Disaster?

In this country, every time there is a flood or an earthquake, every time there is a “natural” incident or disaster, poor people – often young people – lose their lives. 

But are these really natural disasters, or are they political disasters? 

Several weeks after the tragic deaths of 40 young “clandestine” immigration seekers in the sea at Kenitra, this week there has been another (natural) tragedy in the Taroudant region in the south of the country, which has caused the deaths of at least 8 people, with several others missing. 

Anger reigns among the population 

On Wednesday 29 August 2019, the sudden rise of a river resulted in the death of at least seven persons (eight according to the latest information) and several persons missing, local authorities say. The incident happened at the end of the day in the community of Imi Ntirayet, in the douar of Tizert, province of Taroudant (South), where several families were gathered near a stadium built on the riverbed, according to press agency MAP. 

Among the victims of this drama is a 17-year- old young man. According, again, to MAP, one of those surviving the flood was taken to the municipal hospital of Igherm, in serious-to-very- serious condition. Local sources, quoted by several media, currently announce seven people missing. However, no official communiqué has been published. The search continued this Thursday. 

Who is responsible for this tragedy? 

New infrastructures at the stadium were inaugurated by local authorities only this July, and several people had cautioned about its location on the edge of the riverbed. On the 15th of July, an Internet user warned “Sudden rains in this mountainous region can sweep away and destroy everything along their way”. 

The construction of a football field in the riverbed is equally at the heart of all the questions. 

A government report opened discussion on the possibility of creating “a central division in the Department of Homeland Security (Ministry of the Interior) in charge of the management of risks of natural disasters”. 

During the meeting, the government also looked into the “regulatory supervision of public appropriation of hydropower”. The government’s spokesperson, Khalfi, specified that the objective of the announced measures is that “what happened at Imi Ntirayet never happens again”. 

The government and the government alone is responsible 

While year after year hundreds of millions of Dirhams are taken from the national budget and used for paying the interest on the foreign debt, while year after year the government makes cuts in the social budget, while year after year public services deteriorate and are being destroyed by privatisation, and delegation is delegated, whole regions are deprived of infrastructures and facilities (hospitals, schools, sport stadiums and grounds, etc.) The government is responsible for this killing, the government and the government alone holds all responsibility for this tragedy. 

The (Moroccan) newspaper the Tribune des Travailleurs, which is edited by activists and workers who are partisans of the International Workers Committee (COI-IWC) in Morocco, expresses its condolences to the families of our sisters and brothers who died in this tragedy, and demands immediate intervention so that those who are guilty of this incident are brought to justice. 