Column in BIG-magazine

Pipeliner on Tour

Until October 2019, I was an active member of the BIG, a Flemish-Dutch association of companies, institutions and persons who are professionally or commercially interested in the field of above and underground pipelines.

I am still a member, but not so active anymore …

However, the BIG has asked me to write a column in the BIG Magazine, which is published twice a year on paper and digitally.

My column below (and a translation in English):

We parked our Milady Landy on the edge of a reservoir in Central Morocco, at the foot of the High Atlas, to camp here for a few days. A farmer has just come to fetch water with his donkey and now a water truck from a road builder is filling his tank, we treat the men to a cup of coffee. A fisherman sails past in his boat and greets us with a wide arm gesture, “salam aleikum”. We fully enjoy the peace and space and realize that we are doing well in this beautiful country.

In recent decades, reservoirs in Morocco have mainly been built for the (drinking) water supply, sometimes a little electricity is also generated, but that is a side issue. You can also see that agriculture flourishes around these lakes and that the cities are developing considerably. Water really appears to be the basis of the development of this dry land. I never realized it that way, for me Morocco was mainly the country of the Sahara, far away and almost inaccessible.

Earlier during our travels in the southern part of Africa I had already realized that the lack of water also equates to a lack of development opportunities. In addition to education, primary and secondary education, water appears to be indispensable for survival and progress. Here in Morocco it is also becoming apparent that creating a water infrastructure leads to real development of the country.

In Morocco, people are working hard on the water, in addition to the reservoirs in the mountains, everywhere you see pipes in all sizes with which the water network is constructed. Along the roads we drive, we often see pits that are regularly placed in the main pipes. It is not yet clear to me what these pits do, perhaps someone can explain that to me?

Substantial investments are also being made in the underlying water infrastructure. In the cities and most villages, drinking water is available in the houses and in the fields, and if not, there are water points where fresh drinking water can be obtained from a central tap. Only in the desert do people have to make do with water from wells in the oases and oueds, the (mostly dry) rivers.

The provision of water provides a basic necessity for the Moroccans. That is not always recognized and it is preferable for citizens to see investments and, above all, returns even closer to home. As with us, there are complaints about too high taxes and too little work, but if you ask, it turns out that people are generally happy in their circumstances and satisfied with their lives here. We meet a lot of happy and hospitable people and that is great.

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