Tizi n'Oucheg is a Berber village, located 60 km from Marrakech, with a population of 600 inhabitants. This village is situated in the High Atlas at an altitude of 1,600 m in Ourika Valley.
The Aït Oucheg region is made up of 5 villages and Tizi n'Oucheg is the farthest and the most isolated This isolation galvanized the villagers into taking care of their future. Eight years ago, they collectively created the Tizi n'Oucheg Development Association (ATND).
The primary aim of this association was to improve living conditions in the village, so that young people can envisage their future there instead of leaving. Since then, several socio-economic and cultural projects have been carried out by the villagers. Everyone helped in building a boarding school for secondary school students, a road and a wastewater treatment unit, and provided access to potable water while starting waste sorting, among other projects.
Rachid Mandili is the protagonist of this project and the face of autonomous community development in Morocco. This 40-something-year-old Berber has an infectious passion, an undaunting optimism, and shares his vision of an autonomous development-worthy village with his family, neighbors and the Tizi n'Oucheg community. He realized very early that the villagers could work to improve their well-being and was able to propose useful projects to the community, encouraged by the village association and the wise counsel of his friends from Open Village. Rachid is working with Ecofund to replant fruit trees with each family.
Rachid is a wonderful person, mountain guide and lodge manager (we strongly recommend a stop at this lodge), who can mobilize positive energies around him. He once initiated a potable water system project, then a new boarding school and a football turf rented, now, by the youths. Presently, the tree planting project will protect village lands from erosion. Indeed, Rachid is a ray of hope, and champions this project.
Once, the village was surrounded by walnut trees. But in the 1970s, most of the trees were cut and the wood sold. Presently, people know the importance of reforestation, as trees protect the land against erosion (for example landslides) and empower Tizi n'Oucheg inhabitants, who can process and sell the fruits.
And the bonus is…: trees contribute in the protection of our planet's climate.
Four tree types will be planted: cherry, walnut, almond and carob trees.
Apart from the cherry trees that the villagers know but are not used to planting, the three other types are traditionally grown in the village. Planting will be in three stages:
The planting sites were demarcated after the study by an Agronomy lecturer, Charles Bonnin, who provided relevant information on the evolution of rainfall, the layout of planting sites and irrigation of the area.
In 2017, at the end of the study and following conclusions drawn on the urgency for reforestation, 1,000 trees were successfully planted.
result of this experience, Rachid and the villagers proposed that each of the
110 families in the village plant 10 trees per tree type, making it 40 trees per
family which is a total of 4,400 trees. Each family will own and care about its
Your donations will be used to buy and transport tree seedlings to Tizi n'Oucheg. The villagers will plant, irrigate, protect and maintain the seedlings. Their labor is their contribution to the project.
The positive socio-economic and environmental impact of the project is obvious: The need to use traditional techniques will value the cultural heritage, make agricultural land development more sustainable, and will significantly reduce agricultural’s negative impacts on the natural environment. Moreover, planting these trees is a solution to soil erosion in Tizi n'Oucheg, which faces a vast landslide problem.
This project contributes to the valorization of the natural heritage and to the preservation of the traditional landscape. It is fully integrated into the socio-economic development system of the Douar (group of inhabitants) of Tizi n'Oucheg. This sustainable approach of securing a future source of income is consistent with the village's development project, contributing to the village’s self-reliance by building on local know-how. In addition, a stable source of income will encourage families to remain in the village.
It is also a pilot project, for the region, which can inspire surrounding villages.
By contributing to this project as an Ecofunder, you will be warmly welcomed by Rachid and his team at the village lodge. They will show you the exact sites of the new plants that you have helped to fund. For those who might not get the opportunity to go on an excursion to Tizi n'Oucheg and discover its beautiful mountainous landscapes, we will, of course, keep you informed about the progress of the project, as it unfolds, on our platform.
The plantings will be coordinated, and the results monitored by the Open Village organization, particularly Karine, who will support the ATND in project monitoring.
Open Village is a private non-profit organization whose main objective is to promote autonomous, ecological and collective community development.
In these times of a general quarantine to protect ourselves from the Corona virus, our thoughts are with you: we hope you are in a very good health!
This unprecedented situation may remind us that our happiness depends only on few things like going for a walk and contemplating the beauty of our nature… We suddenly realize how central nature is for our wellbeing. However, its evolution depends highly on our behaviour.
Therefore, we seize the opportunity to give you news about the “Plant your tree in Tizi n’Oucheg” project.
In December 2018, we launched a fundraising campaign for this project in Morocco.
The trees were delivered from the Marrakech region to the village, where each of the 110 families came to collect their trees with a mule to bring them to the plots.
The last delivery took place on Saturday January 25th 2020. Despite the cold weather everyone got organized: distribution, transport and planting, to plant everything within 48 hours.
Each family received 4 types of trees (walnut, cherry, carob and almond), which they planted on their plots surrounding the village. The plantations took place between February 2019 and January 2020.
After a very cold period of January 2020, the Atlas mountain region experienced six weeks of bright sun until mid-March. The trees started to sprout and the mountains to color. This early spring was followed by two weeks of the long-awaited rain.
Since the start of the project two years ago, the Tizi n'Oucheg Development Association (ATND) has received and planted nearly 10,000 trees and so more than doubled the initial target of planting 4.400 trees! This was possible thanks to the common contribution from associations like “Reforestation”, “AAA”, and “Al Baytar Association”, and of course from Ecofund.
By planting fruit trees, the project will help protect the soil against erosion and give the families an additional source of income, as soon as the trees will produce fruits.
In the name of the Tizi n'Oucheg Development Association, we would like to thank you all for your donation. Your donation is a concrete action for the future of our planet.
Our financial contribution has come to its end. Its fundraising campaign
on our web platform has therefore been terminated. However, like for all Ecofund
supported projects, the project Champions are part of our Ecofund community. We
keep regular contact with them and will soon revisit the project.
Several Ecofund members and contributors have visited the Tizi N’Oucheg village, and together with villagers, followed up on the tree plantation project.
This unforgettable multicultural (German-French-Portuguese-Spanish-Moroccan) adventure started at Rachid’s hostel. Rachid and Driss (Rachid’s cousin), took us on a “discovery” walk through the tree plantations, as well as through several other socio-economic projects carried out by the villagers’ association: water irrigation system, primary school, etc.
As we were walking along mountain trails through the valley, we saw that many of the planted seedlings have grown considerably! Driss, who is in charge of the follow-up on the tree plantations, explained to us the choice of location for the tree plantations: the carob trees on less irrigated ground, the walnut trees on the valley floor, which need more irrigated ground, and the almond trees on the terraces, which can withstand drought conditions.
Since the beginning of the “Plant your tree in Tizi n’Oucheg” project, 240 almond, 30 walnut and 740 cherry trees have been planted thanks to the support of Ecofund.
Unfortunately, the drought season between May and August has killed some of the planted seedlings. These will be replaced during the coming tree planting season from November onwards.
Rachid explained to us the way how the 600 villagers share the water stored in the retention dams. The small dams are called “loutfia” in Amazigh and store water from the mountain springs and rain fall. The level of water can reach up to 128 “fingers”. Each day, the water distribution for a family is done by finger counting measurement in a very fair and transparent manner.
In order to deal with future droughts, the villagers decided to enlarge the existing “loutfia” to gather 600 m3 of rain and mountain spring water in order to double the capacity of the retention dams.
In the video interview Driss’ message is clear: Tizi n’Oucheg is developing well, but it needs your further support to reach the project’s objective of 4400 trees.
Rachid, Driss and all villagers would like to take the opportunity to thank all donors for their contributions and, in particular, the German association Nangu Thina e.V. in Bonn for its generous donation of 1500 Euros. A big Thank YOU!
Furthermore, our friends in Rabat, Nicola (chef cook), Caroline and their three children, have organized a charity dinner to promote, among others, the “Plant your tree in Tizi n’Oucheg” project. They know the Tizi n’Oucheg village very well and greatly value the villagers’ work. Thanks to their charity dinner, an additional 500 Euros have been collected for the tree project. A big Thank YOU!
Indeed, a charity dinner is a very good example of how every one of us can mobilize his or her friends to contribute to the project by enjoying the event, even when you’re not a star chef.
The daily news on climate change is calling on all of us for action. Ecofund offers you the opportunity to play your part and to preserve our ecosystems in a simple, transparent and concrete manner.
Enjoy your dinner with friends or organize another fundraising event and plant your tree in Tizi n’Oucheg!
So, what are you waiting for?! Compensate for your Carbon footprint by planting trees in Tizi n’Oucheg and spreading the good news!
In December last year we launched a fundraising campaign for a new project in Morocco: Plant your tree in Tizi n’Oucheg.
By planting fruit trees, the project will help protect soil against erosion and give the families an additional source of income, as soon as the trees will produce fruits.
We highly recommend this project, because it is initiated and led by very dynamic villagers who take their destiny in hand. So far, thanks to the donations of Ecofunders, two months after the launch of the fundraising campaign the first 1.000 trees have been planted by the villagers on family plots: cherry, walnut, almond and carob trees.
Furthermore, thanks to the project the Tizi n'Oucheg Development Association (ATND) has created a new job by employing a villager for coordinating the tree plantations.
We size the opportunity to thank all donors for your contributions so far which currently cover 7% of the total project costs. It is a good beginning, but you can do even better by mobilizing your family, friends and colleagues…
This tree planting project not only takes you on the journey to a dynamic mountain village but also and offers you the opportunity to make you “green contribution” for our planet for 2019 in a very concrete manner!
The return on your donation to this project is the compensation of your Carbone footprint!
According to certified calculators in Germany, the flight Casablanca - Francfort – Casablanca produces on average 1.2 tonnes of Carbone per person, which a beech could absorb in 80 years. Sure, a cherry of a walnut trees is not a beech. In other words, in order to offset your Carbone footprint of about 1 tonne you need to plant 8 trees in Tizi n’Oucheg, which equals a donation of 28 euros to the project.
So, what are you waiting for?! Compensate your Carbone footprint by planting trees in Tizi n’Oucheg and spread the news!