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The destruction of the fishing village of Tifnit felt like a very deep wound

The month of December 2023 will forever be marked with a black stone, very black, in the history of the fishing village of Tifnit, located about forty kilometers south of Agadir, inside the Souss Massa National Park. On the 6th, the director of equipment for the province of Chtouka Aït Baha, Mohamed Zouhair, disseminates information, demanding the restoration of illegally built homes to their original condition, within five days. Stupor, collapse and incomprehension of the approximately 200 more or less regular inhabitants of the village, mainly fishermen, some of whose families have lived there for generations. The heart tight, some flee Tifnit with their meager possessions. Defenders of the village, mainly foreigners, launched a petition and organized a demonstration. Calls to the authorities go unheeded. On the 25th, no voluntary demolition having taken place, the mechanical excavators came into action and destroyed everything, but really everything, in their path (see above video Michel Terrier). On December 28, they covered the rubble accumulated by the traxes with earth. Tifnit has completely disappeared. Nothing remains of the small town described as the only one of its kind to have survived in Morocco.

The circumstances of Tifnit's disappearance are widely felt as a very deep wound. Especially since the warning information from the Equipment Directorate did not reach all the occupants of the village's homes and was written exclusively in Arabic. Nothing helped, not even the prayers of this believer prostrating himself in the direction of Mecca (photo Rachid Aït Sagh

The old-fashioned charm that emanated from Tifnit was appreciated. French and Belgians had even set up homes there for themselves and their friends. Here the interior of one of them, particularly successful. Riad Tifnit Acienda even met with great success despite a dilapidated environment. The inhabitants prided themselves on getting their water from their wells and producing their own electricity.

Tifnit had also become a meeting place for gourmets, lovers of seafood and fish caught offshore by its approximately 120 fishermen. You could buy them cheaply on the beach or taste them in restaurants with picturesque names which were so many winks: Chez Maxim's and the succulent Bouba lobster (our photo), or La Tour d'Argent and Le Fouquet's.

It is true that the downside of these restaurants was hygiene, which was the most often mediocre.

In Tifnit, as in far too many places in the Kingdom, we also came across piles of waste (our photo): plastic bottles and bags, cans and leftover food of all kinds.

The dilapidation of certain constructions which could have threatened ruin and the presence of squatters apparently causing a feeling of insecurity have been cited in support of the measures taken by the authorities (our photo).

From a legal point of view, the latter have the law on their side, failing to have a sense of respect for the population and dialogue with them.

The houses of which nothing remains (photo Rachid Ait Sagh) had been developed on the inalienable maritime property, the use of which the State can only authorize subject to an occupation authorization temporary. However, no document of this type could be produced, at least according to what we know. This means that damages will not be easy to obtain in court. However, complaints have been filed by many people before the Administrative Court of Agadir.


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