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For the first time in history, one of Morocco’s largest rivers dried up

France Press agency

Environmental expert Mohamed Benatta

The waters of the Moulouya River, one of Morocco’s largest rivers, have dried up to such an extent that it is unable to reach its mouth in the Mediterranean Sea, “for the first time in its history,” according to the environmental expert, Mohamed Benatta.

The reasons for this “tragic phenomenon are due to the decline in the flow of the river due to the excessive consumption of its water,” as the expert explains, while he was taking pictures of the estuary near the tourist city of Saidia in the northeast of the Kingdom, near the border with Algeria.

The harshness of the drought upset the balance of nature in this agricultural area, as the salty sea water invaded the course of the river “for 15 kilometers”, forcing farmers on its banks to abandon cultivating their lands, due to the salinity of the water and its effect on the soil.

In one of those farms on the left bank of the river, the watermelons look pale yellow and distorted in shape with dry stems “even pigs recovered,” says a farm owner in the area, Ahmed Hadiwi, sighs.

Morocco, whose economy is the main sector, has suffered from successive droughts in recent years. It is expected that the matter will worsen by the year 2050 due to a decrease in rainfall (-11 percent) and an increase in temperatures (+1,3 degrees), according to a report by the Ministry of Agriculture.

And the Ministry of Agriculture’s forecasts indicate that drought will lead to a decline in irrigation water reserves by 2050, “to a level that may reach 25 percent” at the national level.

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Source: AFP