Adapting to climate shifts
Morocco’s already arid deserts have come under increasing pressure from climate change. For women in oases in the south-eastern province of Errachidia, the encroaching desert puts prospects for making a living under serious threat. UN Women helps women find ways to adapt to this livelihood risk. Many are now growing medicinal and aromatic plants that require little water, can survive increasingly harsh conditions and yield a higher profit than more traditional crops. Such adaptation also helps keep the oases healthy and resistant to the desert.
Creating economic interest groups has brought women together to manage their production and marketing, building on collective strengths. For instance, the Annama Association started with a hectare of land, some seeds and, importantly, the decision to use drip irrigation propelled by an environmentally friendly solar pump.
Association members—many of whom were illiterate and had barely dreamed of such a possibility in the past—soon saw their incomes grow enough to open bank accounts and aspire to bigger plans. After only two years, the Association purchased a second hectare and intends to acquire more to boost production. “Women work hard because they are struggling for a more dignified life,” says association president Massaôudi Lkbire.