During 2020 we were supposed to complete this project and build the waste and recycling centre (see below) but due to COVID-19 we had to suspend the project and planned to recommence it next year.
We recently learned that due to a complete stop in incoming tourism since the pandemic started, our Berber friends face much worse and urgent problems than domestic waste.
There is a real shortage of food and basic supplies in the village for the fast approaching and very unusual winter! The income of the lovely and welcoming Berber community who hosted us and helped us during the first fundraiser climb is almost 100% dependant on tourism. For many families including the family who hosted us during the climb, there is simply no additional source of income and no other way to meet their basic needs.
We decided to park our architectural ambition to build a beautiful and sustainable structure for them and divert the donations already collected and additional donations that will be raised towards supporting the families in the village which are in most urgent need.
Jane and Abdou from Sublime Morocco our partners for the original project, kindly agreed to oversee a direct and fair distribution of the donations between the which are desperate for food and basic supplies.
Any donations will be highly appreciated and 100% of the donations will be used to help a local Berber family to survive the worst winter they can remember. We updated the original Just Giving page to reflect this new emergency plan, and it will remain open for donations until December 25th, please help us to raise more donations.
It all started when Romi, a ten year old boy from London, travelled to the Atlas Mountains in Morocco on a family trip during May 2019.
While visiting the Berber villages at the foot of Mount Toubkal, the highest mountain in North Africa, Romi saw domestic rubbish dumped everywhere, polluting an otherwise beautiful landscape and decided to do something about it.
Four months later he climbed to the summit of Mount Toubkal (4167m) and raised donations for two environmental causes; a global and a local cause. He raised an incredible £2000 and donated half of it to Client Earth, a charity of lawyers who are using the power of the law to protect our planet and fight on its behalf.
The remaining half is now available for Scenario Architecture to initiate a change on a local scale, by designing and implementing a prototype solution for domestic rubbish in the village that welcomed and befriended Romi prior to the climb.
During 2020 Scenario Architecture, in collaboration with engineering firm Simple works and sustainability consultants Envision, will design, raise additional donations and physically assist in the construction of a rubbish collection and recycling centre for Achain village.
We invite our clients, colleagues and collaborators to support the project.
Seven small agricultural villages are scattered around the Imlil Valley and are connected by small dirt roads. Due to the lack of an organised collection system, domestic rubbish is carried by mule, which is still the main method of transportation, to a central site down by the river.
Currently, due to the lack of a central collection point, domestic rubbish is regularly burned within the village to reduce its volume before it is carried by mule to the local dumpsite. The burning takes place in an open fire fuelled by diesel. In remote villages with more difficult access, domestic rubbish tied in plastic bags and tossed out of the window is an all too common sight.
Burning rubbish within villages in an open fire with young children running around is dangerous, highly polluting and produces harmful quantities of toxic fumes.
The immediate aim of the project is to create a simple and effective rubbish collection and recycling centre for Achain village which is home to 163 Berber residents including Abdou, our guide for the climb, as well as Romi’s new friends, shown above sculpting a measuring stick for the project.
Although recycling is generally a new and unfamiliar concept in this part of the world, some unorganised collection of plastic bottles and glass does take place to be sold to waste merchants who arrive in Imlil periodically to buy it.
Therefore, an initial realistic target would be to separate cans, glass, and recyclable plastic from the general waste at the new collection centre, compress and pack the remaining waste via simple means and make it as easy as possible to carry it to the local dumpsite.
Another immediate and crucial educational aim, will be to explain the risk and harmful implications of burning rubbish within the village to residents and to the environment and raise awareness of the importance and benefits of recycling.
The broader aim of the project is that the working prototype will inspire the other villages to follow suit. The hope being that gradually the dangerous and toxic practice of burning domestic waste will be eradicated from this beautiful and peaceful valley.
Finally, if beautifully designed and realised, our project is likely to attract interest from the press, be widely published and become a large scale prototype for similar communities in Morocco and elsewhere.
The project was conceived and will be developed and implemented in close collaboration with the local Berber community represented by Abderrahim Ait iDar (Abdou), our guide for the climb and his business partner Jane Upton from Sublime Morocco.
The project already generated great local interest, enthusiasm and anticipation to actively participate in the build as well as to welcome and host the team from London with famous Berber hospitality.
A suitable site just above the village was identified and already designated for the project by the local community. It is strategically located to enable easy access from the village while maintaining enough distance from the houses. It is also located along the tourist route to encourage collection of rubbish from the nearby waterfall site which is suffering from ongoing littering.
The new collection and recycling centre will be realised through a design competition between three teams of Architects within Scenario Architecture. All entries will be developed with input from Simple Works and Envision. Both are trusted partners that we regularly work with on our UK projects who have already confirmed their participation.
The winning team will develop their concept into a buildable set of drawings and specifications, co-ordinate logistics with our local partners and finally travel to Morocco to oversee and physically participate in the building works towards the end of October 2020.
The centre will feature a collection and separation area where cans, glass and recyclable plastics will be separated and stored for collection and an area for accumulation, packaging and loading the remaining rubbish to be carried by mule to the local dump.
The enclosure will be carefully designed and built from local sustainable materials, seamlessly blending into the landscape as an attractive, and sustainable intervention.
To be able to build a beautiful and sustainable collection and recycling centre we will need to raise significant funds. It may not prove to be easy, however, we are not starting from scratch:
- Through his charity climb Romi raised the first £1000 which is available for this project.
- The site is already designated for the project and has been made available at no cost by the local community.
- Professional services such as design and engineering will be donated by Scenario Architecture, Simple Works and Envision who will treat this as a full charity project.
- Abdou, our local partner for the project will coordinate residents from the villages to participate in the realisation of the project by gathering the required materials, contributing labour and organising accommodation with local families for the team.
Scenario Architecture, Simple Works and Envision invite our clients, contractors and other building professionals that we collaborate with to support our project and donate.
An alternative, creative and healthy way to support the project is to take on a challenge such as hiking, swimming, running etc. and direct the donation raised towards the project, please contact us for more details about this option.
To further increase the reach of our fundraiser and ensure success we offer a simple and attractive sponsorship package, please contact us for more details and join the companies listed below.