Late Friday, September 8, a devastating earthquake of 6.8 magnitude struck Morocco, with over 2,500 casualties so far. We’ve been working with the High Atlas Foundation (HAF) for the past six years, planting fruit and nut trees with 5,000 farmers — the High Atlas region unfortunately got hit the hardest. Our partners are safe, but many of the farmers they’re working with have been directly affected by the earthquake, with their farms and infrastructure destroyed.
We remain in contact with HAF, who are currently taking donations to help get food, aid and shelter to the communities in the mountains. The growing issue is that in the coming months, the long-term effects of destroyed infrastructure will be felt by the villages; planting season starts soon and the farms need to be rebuilt.
On Wednesday, September 13, all profits from Ecosia searches will go to HAF, in order to restore infrastructure and plant 200,000 trees as soon as the situation allows.
Yossef Ben-Meir, President of HAF, said: “Directly after the earthquake, we contacted our partner villages in the Atlas Mountains and started to distribute food and provide other relief. What we saw in the villages was devastating; there is overwhelming grief for people who didn't survive the earthquake. On top of that, many are worried about their livelihoods and how to support themselves in the coming months, as key agricultural infrastructures such as irrigation channels, wells and agricultural terraces have collapsed in many places. We appreciate the support we have been getting and will start rebuilding as soon as possible through this emergency restoration program that we have set up with Ecosia.”
Trees are a crucial aspect of the agricultural practices of farmers in the High Atlas: carob trees, olive trees and various nuts help make the region more resilient against erosion and climate change, while also providing a source of income. Because trees depend on stable water and soil through irrigation, wells and terraces, repairing that infrastructure will directly support the families affected. The next step will be distributing trees back to farmers that have lost them.
Thanks to your support, we can help HAF and the farmers in the High Atlas rebuild as soon as possible.