Struggling Morocco Oasis Risks Becoming Mirage

Struggling Morocco oasis risks becoming mirage

Skoura, Morocco, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 14th Feb, 2020 ) :Dead palm trees lie on dry, yellowish earth near an abandoned adobe house in Morocco's arid southeast, as drought threatens ancient oases.

"I grew up in this oasis and I have seen it shrink," says 53-year-old Mohamed El Houkari, who lives in Skoura, a rural oasis area of around 40 square kilometres (15 square miles).

For centuries, Morocco's oases have been home to human settlements, agriculture, and important architectural and cultural heritage, thanks also to trans-Saharan trade caravan routes.

Long a buffer against desertification, they have gone through cycles of drought in recent decades and are now "threatened with extinction", Greenpeace has warned, due to the impact of high temperatures.

In most of the Skoura oasis, the ground is dry and cracked.

Until the 1980s, "pomegranate and Apple trees flourished here", says Houkari, who is also part of a local development NGO.

Now, only hardy olive trees grow in the shadow of the palms.

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