MOROCCO: Hungary and Morocco enhance cooperation for better water management

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MOROCCO: Hungary and Morocco enhance cooperation for better water management©CRS PHOTO/Shutterstock

Morocco wants to intensify its cooperation with Hungary, particularly in the field of water resources management. The Moroccan Minister of Public Works, Transport, Logistics and Water, Abdelkader Amara, recently held talks in Hungary with Sandor Pinter, the Hungarian Minister of the Interior, responsible for the water sector, to establish a model partnership in the field of academic training.

The risk of drought is causing great concern in Morocco. The current agricultural season is marked by a significant drop in rainfall. “We have dropped to 141 millimetres compared to an average of 254 millimetres over the last 30 years, a deficit of 44 percent compared to a normal year,” said Aziz Akhannouch, Morocco’s Minister of Agriculture. “There has also been a significant reduction in the country’s dam reservoirs,” he said.

This situation seriously undermines the country’s economic security. The agricultural sector is the largest contributor to Morocco’s gross domestic product (14%), ahead of tourism and industry. “In 2019 we had recorded a drop in agricultural value added of 3 to 4%. This year it will probably be around 5%,” says Ahmed Lahlimi, the head of the High Commission for Planning (HCP), responsible for official statistics in Morocco.

It is in this context that Morocco has decided to strengthen its cooperation with Hungary for better management of its water resources. The Moroccan Minister of Equipment, Transport, Logistics and Water, Abdelkader Amara, and Sandor Pinter, the Hungarian Minister of the Interior, responsible for the water sector, thus met on March 7, 2020 in Budapest, the capital of Hungary. The two men agreed on a model partnership. This will enable Moroccan students and researchers to be trained in water resource management.

Continuing education and training…

In the framework of this new partnership, Hungary is committed to providing continuing education to Moroccan students and researchers on the management of water resources and natural phenomena such as floods and drought. They will also receive training in water treatment. “Hungary has developed innovative and efficient technologies, particularly in the agricultural and climatic fields. The country is willing to share its experience with Morocco,” says Sandor Pinter. Morocco, for its part, has undertaken to share its experience with Hungary in the water resource management industry and to expand this cooperation. It plans to include sub-Saharan Africa through concrete projects in accordance with targeted programmes.

Outside this partnership, the two countries signed the executive programme of the Memorandum of Understanding between Morocco and Hungary in Budapest in 2016, in order to ensure the follow-up of joint projects and programmes for the period 2021 to 2023. These projects focus on water resources management and the strengthening of programmes to combat climate change in rural areas.

Inès Magoum

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