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News Link • Environment

Unusually harsh winter hits Morocco’s mountain region

• The RawStory.com
 

In a country on the doorstep of western Europe and popular for sunshine holidays, an unusually bitter winter has hit isolated mountain villages, causing hardship not usually associated with Morocco.

On an icy morning in December, Salem Said trudges with his son along a snow-swept road to the only school in this area of the Atlas Mountains.

The predominantly Berber region is a victim of poor infrastructure and harsh winters, as starkly illustrated on Friday when a week-old baby died in Anfgou village after falling ill because of the extreme cold, according to witnesses.

They blamed her death on the lack of vital medical treatment.

An unusual bout of heavy snowfall has made many roads unpassable, leaving vehicles unable to supply the weekly markets in the villages of the Middle and High Atlas, where temperatures plunged to minus 5 degrees Celsius (23 Fahrenheit) last week.

“The lorries and pick-up trucks can no longer drive along this road. I travel dozens of kilometres (miles) by mule to get supplies,” said Moha Ouaali, a father struggling to provide for his family during the winter months.

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