As I have said before, when it rains here, it really rains. Over the years we have seen much heavier rain and flood water seems to devisitate the village everytime, so plans were put in place to attempt to channel the water into a more safe situation, rather than floodding the streets and houses each time.
Two schemes were implemented, one to cover the river that flows through the main Aourir village, and a second one to minimime the damage caused from floods along the Tamraght river. The last major flood we had from this river destroyed the main road bridge on the main N1 route from Agadir to Essaourira creating massive transport issues.
So despite Covid, work started on both rivers simultaneously. Obviously the deadline was before the rains started on October / November and so many people worked on these projects. Basically the plan for the Aourir flood wall was to create a channel in the Assersif river deep enough and strong enough to channel the flood water away from the actual high street. The old river bed had to be excavated, then steel reinforcement installed, finally concrete was poured in to the structure to create the wall.
Whilst very quick to install and very effective, it looks terrible, so near the beach areas the walls changed to natural stone and cement, built in an a frame shape to resist the water pressure. This was also a much slower process and very labour intensive, however the guys who were doing it were soon building this wall very quickly.
In the Tamraght River, they also decided to use this method to create the wall, which in fairness has blended in quite well to the surroundings. The down side was the months of dust, noise and disruption of having 100’s of lorries and diggers working 7 days a week for months.
As with all major project like this, is it a benifit to mankind or is it an ecological disaster? Only time will tell, but already the wildlife we used to see like tortoises and hedgehogs are gone and even as you walk along the dry river bed, the tracks we used to see of all the wildlife crossing are not seen anymore. Trying to scale a 12 foot concrete wall is probably beyond most creatures.
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