The Atlas relief action

In response to the devastating 6.8 earthquake that hit the High and Anti Atlas on September 08, MBLA has been working relentlessly on bringing assistance to the affected communities.

On September 8th, a devastating earthquake with deadly force struck Morocco, bringing great losses to the High and Anti Atlas region, marking the strongest seismic event to hit central Morocco in over a century. Tragically, more than 3000 lives have been lost, leaving many injured and traumatized, numerous homes and buildings have been reduced to rubble, resulting in the displacement of approximately 300,000 people.


MBLA has been closely collaborating with the local communities in the High Atlas region for a decade, focusing on documenting and enhancing their conservation practices, as well as creating growth opportunities within the rural entrepreneurship sector. After the earthquake, we’ve received distressing reports that many of the people we work with have lost their families and homes. Given our deep ties with the region, our strong network with local community members and authorities, we are strategically positioned to deliver aid to the most affected and hardest hit villages, in Al Haouz. Our ongoing efforts are focused on meeting the most critical needs, including emergency medical services, food, clean water, shelter, transportation and hygiene essentials. Moreover, we are fully committed to aiding in both immediate relief efforts and the long-term recovery of these affected communities.


MBLA has supported the resilience of traditional livelihoods in the High Atlas for over a decade. Once the urgent aid work is over, we will use funds to help families rebuild their homes, incorporating earthquake-resistant construction techniques, & re-establish their traditional ways of living & working. Our approach is community-led & prioritises their pressing needs over the coming months to ensure that people’s lives & livelihoods are rehabilitated as soon as possible.


Our commitment to the recovery of the affected communities is unwavering. We will continue to provide them with the necessary resources, support, and assistance they need to regain stability and rebuild their lives with dignity and resilience. Volunteers, material donations according to identified needs and monetary donations are still needed for the long journey ahead. Please keep these communities in your thoughts and consider contributing in any way you can.

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All relief efforts are being carried out by MBLA and its partner GDF (Global Diversity Foundation). A list of our other partners can be found at the bottom of this page. This page is updated every evening with an account of the day’s efforts and upcoming activities.

After weeks of assessments and follow-ups with farmers to identify their needs and to procure the healthiest and climate-suitable seeds, we successfully conducted our first seed distribution in the Imegdal commune. This initiative was carried out in collaboration with local associations representing each village in the Imegdal commune. We distributed the following :

  • 15 tons of Barley
  • 350 Kg of Faba bean
  • 350 Kg Of Peas

In partnership with the ILM Foundation, we distributed 230 mattresses, 230 blankets, 230 pillows, and 63 heaters to 63 families from the villages of Ankzdame and Tigoundafine, situated around the summit of Toubkal mountain (the highest summit in North Africa). These communities are anticipated to face a sharp and concerning drop in temperatures over the following weeks.

  • As part of our commitment to uplifting the livelihoods of affected communities and supporting their agricultural sector, particularly those who faced significant losses in seed stocks and have limited means to acquire replacement seeds. Our team conducted a visit to the regional souk in Al Haouz, the purpose was to assess the physical quality of available seeds, considering factors such as size, weight, color, and the varieties commonly used by the local farmers we aim to assist. This effort aligns with our planned initiative to organize a series of seed distribution events for the benefit of these communities.
  • On the same day, other members of our team ensured the distribution of the following supplies :
    • 221 heaters to three villages within the Ighil commune, specifically in Amarzgane, Taourirte, and Tassila.
    • Installation of four sanitation facilities in Targa Village, four in Lmakhzen village and two more in Tazgart village (All located in Ijoukak commune).
    • A truckload of 120 bales of hay to 6 villages in Imegdal.
  • Additionally, through our collaboration with Spana (Society for the Protection of Working Animals), we have supported the launch of a series of veterinary caravans offering free veterinary care to donkeys and mules, with the first visit taking place on this date.
  • Following assessments aimed at determining the seeds needed to salvage the agricultural season and launch the imminent November crops, our team developed a general survey to identify seed requirements for the remainder of the agricultural season. A comprehensive inventory of requisites was compiled, consisting primarily of onion, barley, carrots, turnip, peas, and fava beans. The selection of seeds at the souk was carried out in the presence of farmers from the targeted regions of Imegdal, Ighil, Ijoukak, and Talat N’Yaaqoub. This action marks the first step of our initiative to support the agricultural sector in the affected regions through seed distribution.
  • Thanks to our ongoing fundraising efforts, we have successfully secured funding from the German foundation Hoffnungszeichen. This financial support is designated for essential hygiene products, including female sanitary pads, toothbrushes, toothpaste, soaps, and shampoos, to be distributed to the communities in need. All necessary supplies have been purchased, and we plan to distribute them to 100 families in Talat n Yacoub during the third week of November.
  • During the past week, the earthquake relief mission had a primary focus on enhancing the living conditions in the remote villages, especially Anamer and Warti villages, situated in the Imegdal region. Over 100 heaters were distributed to these villages, along with essential items such as clothing, shoes and art supplies for the children. This initiative aimed to bring comfort to the residents as the temperature is gradually decreasing in this area.
  • In the village of Targa, which is home to 64 families, the focus shifted toward enhancing sanitation and hygiene. To this end, four portable toilets were installed, addressing the vital needs of the community.
  • Moving on to the Ighil region, Tadafalte village witnessed a significant milestone as 70 families received their first produce batch, contributing to their sustenance.
  • Meanwhile, in collaboration with SPANA and SOREC, livestock-centred interventions were carried out, benefiting the communities in the douars of Taourirt, Anammer and Warti. A total of 105 donkeys and mules underwent clinical examinations to ensure their well-being, and these same douars received 110 bags of feed to support their livestock.
  • On the 10th of October 2023, we embarked on a mission to the Lmakhzen Village within the Ijoukak commune. Our objective was to deliver 43 gas heaters to the families residing in this village. Furthermore, in preparation for the impending winter chill, we stored an additional 111 gas heaters in Imegdal, reserving them for a future distribution event scheduled for the villages of Warti and Anamer.
In collaboration with Muslim Care Malaysia, we embarked on a mission to provide vital supplies to four distinct communes. These provisions encompassed 250 boxes brimming with fresh vegetables, the equivalent of five cows’ worth of meat, and a substantial 6-tonne quantity of fodder.
  • Among these supplies, 2/5 were allocated to communities residing within the Imegdal commune. This included Awrigh, Tiniskt, Igherm, Imidl, Wakhfamane, Anamer, Warti, and Tawrirt.
  • Another 1/5 portion of these essential supplies was dedicated to the village of Targa, extending support to 64 families within the Ijoukak commune.
  • An additional 1/5 of the supplies was dispatched to benefit the villages of Ifourirn and Mzouzite in the Talat n Yacoub area.
  • Finally, the remaining 1/5 of the supplies was directed towards assisting the villages of Amarzeguane and Tisila situated within the Ighil commune.
  • We undertook an assessment trip, along with Mercy Malaysia who could potentially offer assistance in rebuilding these communities. The roads continue to be treacherous with the team braving falling debris and rocks enroute. We visited our plant nursery in Imegdal which many NGOs and the army are using as a storage location for all kinds of aid. 39 families are currently camping in the nursery.
  • We distributed supplies to the camp in the plant nursery, to Tiniskt and to Tinml in Talat N yacoub. Supplies included 5 boxes of vegetables, 3000 eggs, 60 bottles of shampoo, 16kg of meat, 10kg of lentils and 10kg of beans. Our focus has shifted from providing immediate food to now providing staples so that communities can resume cooking and regain some sense of normalcy.
  • We were able to distribute supplies to Imlil and Armed in response to a request from one of our cooperatives, Aswik. Supplies included: 3 big bags of clothes, 16 socks, 8 toys for children ,7 Beanies, 8 gloves, 4 toothbrushes, 6 packs of sanitary napkins for women, 2 blankets, 15 children’s sandals , 10 children’s shoes, 2 adult boots for winter, 10 pairs of shoes for adults, 30 solar flashlights (2 per tent) , 5 solar projectors, 4 packets of baby formula, 6 bags of flour, 10 kg each.
  • Two representatives from the Korean Buddhist Foundation accompanied us during today’s visit. They conducted an assessment in Tinisekt and are currently evaluating the situation. Their leadership is expected to arrive in Morocco in October to launch additional initiatives following their evaluation.
  • We were able to deliver 24 tonnes of animal feed from AKSAM to Imegdale. Due to high demand from the surrounding villages for fodder, we will be sending two more shipments of 16 tonnes each this week with the aim of halting locals from selling their remaining livestock.
  • We collected plumbing materials to build toilets in response to a specific request from one of our cooperatives. These supplies will soon reach them, alongside winter clothes and shoes. We arranged a translator for the Aerial Recovery team to help them continue providing medical aid in Tineskt.
  • We visited 5 douars, accompanied by the Aerial Recovery and Mercy Malaysia teams :
    • In Douar Tiniskt: 3 doctors from Aerial Recovery examined around 30 locals with our team providing translations between doctors and patients
    • In Douar Bour Ouddif ; Douar Aslloune; Douar Agadir Noumarkhssen; Douar Tirekht in the Ighil commune which was the epicentre of the earthquake: We distributed 29 covers, 10 projectors with solar panels, 10 flashlights, 12 infant milks, 5 boots for adults, 10 shoes for adults, 24 children’s sandals and a big clothing bag for the winter.
  • Other team members also traveled to the Taznakht commune and Imlil village to provide essential aid in response to requests from the villagers :
    • In Taznakht, we delivered food supply kits to 180 families, consisting of a variety of items such as legumes, flour, cooking oil, tea, sugar, and more. Additionally, we provided 67 beds, over 40 blankets, winter clothes for kids and 5 large solar lamps.
    • Our trip to Imlil was unplanned, prompted by an urgent call for assistance from three families who were without shelter. Finding a rental car to transport the tents was a challenging task, but we persevered and successfully delivered the necessary tents, ensuring that the families had shelter before nightfall.
  • Today our team was able to provide treatment to 78 people in Taourirt, Semghourt, and Taghzout villages with the help of the Aerial Recovery team. We also distributed olive oil, fava beans, oranges and clothes were in Aourigh and Anammer villages
  • We transported a generous donation of 6 tons of animal feed to the Imegdal nursery, courtesy of Alf Tansift. We will also be sending more fodder to the nursery soon, and this will be distributed amongst surrounding villages.
  • We are also meeting with varied international NGOs to help streamline their efforts and direct their donations and expertise towards different needs and communities.
  • We helped the Aerial Recovery team set up camp in Tawrirt to provide medical assistance. They will provide aid over the next 4 days and we accompanied them with essential medicines and medical supplies.
  • Supplies from our Agadir team reached Marrakech, to be distributed starting tomorrow. Next week we are procuring the materials needed to build toilets in the tented camps, in response to a request from displaced community members.
  • Our team visited the 36 families from Awrigh village that are currently camping in Imegdale plant nursery to assess their specific needs and distribute the following supplies:
    • Solar Lamps: 5 units
    • Sandals
    • Tents: 3 units
    • Electricity Cable: 100 metres
  • We then visited Tiniskt and Ifghan villages to assess the extent of devastation in the area. In Ifghan, the houses are completely inhabitable, with 60 households currently living in tents or in the open. Thankfully, there have been no reported deaths in the village, but they have lost 90% of their livestock and seed storage. Supplies Delivered: One big tent, solar lamps and sandals.
  • The most pressing present needs are toilets, tents and plastic coverings to protect against the weather. We are working with various suppliers and donors to arrange these and with community representatives to assess where and how shelter and sanitation facilities can be set up.
  • We also arranged for volunteers to distribute supplies in Agured Village, Oukaimeden. Supplies Delivered:
    • Blankets: 48
    • Mattresses: 25
    • Warm Clothes
    • Sandals
  • We are working with the Aerial Recovery team to send medical caravans on future trips and with Archimath to assess how houses can be rebuilt using paraseismic techniques and local materials. We are also collecting fodder from various places to be distributed from next week.
  • Upon receiving distressing calls for help from Mejjat, a village outside of Al Haouz province in the Marrakesh-Safi Region, which had received no aid since the earthquake hit, our team urgently collected supplies and made the trip to deliver 65 emergency thermal isolation blankets, clothing, and baby formula.
  • Our livestock expert has consulted with the Delegation de Sante of Al Haouz about the contamination risks and potential epidemics. Deceased animals that have not yet been removed and rains will increase the risk of contamination. We are now planning to include this in our relief strategy along with providing veterinary care alongside SPANA animal charity. We will also be purchasing livestock fodder to send in future expeditions.
  • Six vehicles were dispatched from our Marrakech office, with in-kind material donations collected through our social media campaign, along with supplies we’ve procured. These resources were strategically allocated to cover a range of affected villages spread across Talat n Yacoub, Imegdal and Ijoukak communes. Our aid consisted of the following :
    • 27 tents for three villages: Iwarighn, Igherm, and Warti.
    • Three water tanks were provided to Igherm, Imegdal, and Iwarighn villages.
    • Clothing and female hygenic products for Talat N Yassine village.
    • Blankets, food supplies, and clothing for Ibihi village.
  • A strong aftershock of 4.6 a magnitude struck earlier this morning, inducing panic and blocking roads with fallen rocks. This led to a delay in the delivery of our aid to Ijoukak. Fortunately, our team members remained unharmed. However, subsequent reports indicated that more homes had collapsed.
  • One of our plant nurseries in Imegdal has transitioned into a site for setting up tents for people who lost their homes throughout the entire commune. Additionally, this location now serves as a central spot for receiving supplies from travelling volunteers. These items are distributed thoughtfully according to what the affected surrounding villages need, with oversight provided by Hamid Ait Baskad, a resident of Imegdal and committed member of the MBLA team.
  • The team observed damage to seguias, traditional irrigation systems that enable the division of water supply to agricultural lands. Rebuilding these structures will be a part of our long-term strategy to ensure that livelihoods are not heavily impacted.
  • Our team went to assess the damage and provide essentials (blankets, rugs, food) in Ait lkak village where our plant nursery is based. Houses have been rendered uninhabitable, with people camping in apple farms, and 3 families taking shelter in MBLA’s eco-museum which is under construction.
  • Our Agadir based team was able to procure large quantities of other essentials like blankets, basic duvets, plastic shoes, solar projectors and solar flashlights. We will be able to deliver part of this to Marrakech this Friday and send part of it to Chichaoua, which has been badly affected.
  • We have also started creating a theory of change for short, mid and long-term intervention to ensure that we keep account of needs over time, and can help communities restore their ways of life as soon as possible. The strategy accounts for everything from medical care to employment regeneration, agropastoralism and earthquake safe yet traditional home rebuilding.
  • Our team made its way towards the epicenter in Ighil, where roads were opened for the first time. We followed the bulldozers and were amongst the first medical aid to reach the area. We are organising medical caravans that bring volunteer doctors and nurses as well as medical supplies to areas of greatest need. Our visit today covered villages Aguerd, Ighrem and Warti. We also tried to reach village Agrd, but roads were still blocked.
  • In the epicenter, communities have already evacuated homes, so we provided them with covers. We have also provided water storage units. There continued to be aftershocks in the area today and we noted with sadness that most homes have been rendered uninhabitable in Ait Lkak, where one of our plant nurseries is.
  • Most provinces in Imegdale have received food, water and first aid. On day 1 we covered 9 villages, and on day 2 we covered 15. We are now urgently trying to provide tents, mattresses and thermal clothing to prepare for bad weather starting Thursday.
  • To do so, we’ve established partnerships with DHL’s Humanitarian Assistance branch to ship supplies from different parts of the world. We are currently mobilising networks and sponsors to donate supplies which are short in Morocco.
  • We are also now collaborating with the animal charity SPANA for a combined approach to help animal dependent communities and with Vital Voices, founded by Hillary Clinton.
  • We gave updates to the UK FDCO to provide them on ground expertise in advance of their upcoming visit. We also continued to support news coverage with live inputs from the field.
  • The team brought supplies of food and water to 8 villages in Imegdale commune. We encountered strong aftershocks in Tizintas and severely damaged roads. The area is badly affected and many villages haven’t received much aid as many roads are blocked and trucks unable to traverse the terrain at present. Community leaders collected supplies from drop off points via mules and donkeys, due to the blockage of roads.
  • Given the crucial aid of livestock in relief efforts, we are also partnering with animal aid organizations to carry fodder and water for animals in future expeditions.
  • We are populating maps of affected sites based on inputs from communities as many areas are receiving less attention than others, and need relief to be directed there. Our process of needs assessment is constantly evolving and the team has assessed varied needs in different regions.
  • We connected UK Med with a list of villages in Amzmiz which needed urgent attention.
  • Several volunteers and heavy traffic was observed during our field visit today. While well intentioned, many people trying to help have inadvertently ended up causing jams on the road and are unaware of how and where to proceed. This is why we are now trying to encourage volunteers and other organizations to join our field visits due to our extensive knowledge of the High Atlas and the needs of communities. We are developing a coordinated volunteer response and careful aid matching mechanism to ensure that communities get what they need the most.
  • Our team travelled to Talat N Yacoub, a village located about 19km from the epicenter of the earthquake to distribute food and water. We witnessed heartbreaking devastation and spoke to locals who have been sleeping outside as their homes have crumbled. According to villagers and local authorities, we were the first to bring non governmental aid to the area.
  • We also collated urgent needs from the ground today and are working on procuring medicines, first aid, sanitary products, tents and blankets as a priority. In collaboration with CNN and BBC, we provided updates and assisted in live coverage of relief efforts.
  • Just a few hours after the devastating earthquake struck, amid the chaos, anxiety, and fear, our dedicated team began receiving calls for assistance from community members at our work sites (some the hardest hit areas). We immediately took action and purchased 1000 supply kits. These kits contained vital items such as milk, honey, bread, dates, tuna, biscuits and water. Within a day, these supplies were distributed to the villages of Talat n Yacoung and Amizmiz communes.


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+212 (0) 808 558485

The Moroccan Biodiversity and Livelihoods Association is a non-governmental non-profit association registered in Hay Mohamadi zone, Marrakech under the n° 470.

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