Students from the Moroccan “Amal School” address the water crisis

طلاب «مدرسة الأمل» المغربية يعالجون أزمة المياه

On World Youth Day, which falls on August 12, the innovative students who won the 2020 Zayed Sustainability Prize celebrate the transformation of Al Amal Junior Secondary School, from a water-scarce school to a resource-rich school.

The leading global award launched by the UAE to honor innovative sustainability solutions contributed to encouraging school students to develop a reliable source of clean drinking water and a self-irrigation system for their school’s educational garden. “We used to drink from a well connected to the school, but we share this resource with the local community, so the school suffered from a water shortage,” says Elham Qweissem, one of the school’s students and co-presenter of the award-winning proposed project in the International Secondary Schools category for the year 2020, for the Middle East and North Africa region. Drinking, especially in the summer. Sometimes we would spend a whole day without finding water.”

Al-Amal Preparatory School, a rural boarding school located in the small town of Sidi Boubakar, in the Rehamna region of Morocco, is one of the few schools in the region that focuses its studies on agriculture. The school garden is a laboratory that provides live experiments, with the aim of enriching the curriculum, providing the opportunity to grow plants, record observations and conduct experiments. However, the lack of water has negatively affected the park. During the summer, plants die due to lack of water, the land is devoid of crops, and students are deprived of learning opportunities.

Khadija Tannan, an eleventh grade student, says, “The most important lesson we learned from this experience is the idea of ​​conserving water.” Water is scarce in our region, so we must preserve the water we use in our daily lives and not waste it.”

The water shortage also halted school transportation, forcing more than 100 students who live up to 28 kilometers away to make long, arduous trips every day.

After learning about the “Zayed Sustainability Prize,” students and faculty members began thinking about innovative solutions to solve the problem of water scarcity. This proposed project to produce water based on clean energy and in a sustainable manner and revitalize the school garden led them to win the award in 2020. Their innovative idea to save and conserve water was successfully implemented in 2021.

Abdul Rahim Mansour, a science teacher at the school, explained that the well now provides more than six tons of water per day, thus supporting the existing well that the school shares with the local community, which contributes to preventing any disruption in the water supply from occurring anymore.

This year, 650 students benefited from reused well water. The school expects to receive more than 750 students next year.