The action plan against the cold snap for the winter season 2021-2022 targets 1,797 douars in 233 localities in 27 provinces and targeting 150,468 families, or a total population of about 800,000 people, said on Tuesday the Minister of the Interior, Abdelouafi Laftit.
In response to a central question in the House of Councilors on “preventive measures to deal with the cold snap and snowfall in rural areas and mountainous areas”, Mr. Laftit recalled the meeting held on November 17 last by the National Commission, which brings together the various ministries and sectors concerned, the Command and Vigilance Center at the level of the Ministry of the Interior and the provincial vigilance, monitoring and evaluation committees, in order to establish the modalities implementation of this National Plan.
In order to precisely and effectively target populations threatened by the effects of the cold snap, he explained, the areas concerned were classified, on the basis of a set of objective criteria, including the possible duration of isolation, in 3 main levels. This is, he said, the Red level which concerns douars at risk of isolation for a period of more than 7 days, i.e. 654 douars with an estimated population of around 250,000 people, the Orange level which concerns douars at risk of isolation for a period of between 4 and 7 days, of which there are 845 for a population estimated at around 330,000 people and of the Yellow level, which concerns douars threatened with isolation for a period of two to three days, numbering 298 and a total population of nearly 220,000 people.
The Minister underlined, in this regard, that the intervention approach adopted for the management of the cold snap is based globally, as in previous years, on seven axes of a social nature which consist mainly in providing health services through the establishment of field hospitals under the Royal Armed Forces (FAR), on the high instructions of HM the King, Supreme Chief and Chief of General Staff of the FAR.
It also involves the establishment of mobile hospitals under the Ministry of Health, the organization this year of mini-medical campaigns due to the epidemic situation, as well as field visits carried out by mobile medical units. in the various provinces surveyed, in addition to monitoring the situation of pregnant women and the elderly suffering from isolation or chronic illnesses.
These axes also relate to the distribution of food aid and blankets, with the supervision of the contribution of civil society in these areas, by providing accommodation and rescue services, taking care of people in crisis. street and the development of platforms for the landing of helicopters of the Royal Gendarmerie, the Ministry of Health and Social Protection, mobilized to provide support to emergency medical intervention teams.
They also include the distribution of firewood and stoves to the affected population, educational establishments, health centers and maternities located in the targeted areas, the supply and distribution of subsidized fodder for livestock, in the region. under the program of the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Rural Development and Water and Forests, the opening of roads and the opening up of rural areas, among other measures.
On the ground, added Mr. Laftit, the services of the ministry have taken several proactive measures, including the operationalization of the Command and Vigilance Center at the level of the Ministry of the Interior in order to monitor the evolution of situation, to coordinate response operations if necessary, as well as provincial committees for vigilance, monitoring and permanent assessment of the situation on the ground.
These measures also included the census of 4,957 pregnant women in the douars concerned, including 308 who will give birth soon and who were taken care of in health centers and maternities, in addition to the care of 1,868 homeless. which were placed in safe reception units and the mobilization of 1,323 vehicles falling under the State services and others belonging to individuals, added the Minister. In addition, 804 drivers were exceptionally mobilized to ensure rapid intervention to open up areas at risk, in addition to connecting these villages to the telephone network at a rate of 88% and the rest by satellite, he continued. .
Humanitarian intervention programs
The number of areas affected by the electricity network reached 89.6%, in addition to the organization of medical caravans in 13 provinces affected by the National Plan to Mitigate the Effects of the Cold Wave. In this context, Mr. Laftit referred to the qualitative intervention of the Mohammed V Foundation for Solidarity and its crucial role in meeting these challenges through its various humanitarian intervention programs aimed at providing support and assistance to families in living need. in the rural world, especially in mountainous areas.
He recalled, in this regard, the last three medical campaigns carried out by the Foundation since last November in the provinces of Taza, Taounate and Figuig, during which more than 18,000 people benefited from surgical operations and specialized care. .
Mr. Laftit affirmed that Morocco has accumulated a great experience in terms of management of such situations and has nothing to envy to countries accustomed to these climatic conditions, noting the very positive increase which characterizes the performance of the various intervening in this domain. And to conclude that the strong mobilization of all actors must remain in place, both at the central and local level, especially at this time of the year, in order to ensure the opening up of mountainous areas and the opening of roads and guarantee the regular supply and continuity of basic social services, including health and education.