From the Heart of the Crisis: Hana’s Ground Report


Hana el Abdallaoui from Islamic Relief shares a recap of the team’s day as they continue to make a difference in Morocco. Today’s story exposes us to some of the harsh realities on the ground:

We spent the night in Chichaoua. Though two aftershocks happened, none of us felt them.

Early in the morning, we woke up and split our team into two groups:

Direct Relief and Assessment

One group had a meeting with the Red Crescent in Chichaoua, then made their way to Amizmiz, an area strongly affected by the earthquake and very close to the epicentre. This group found the area full of rubble. Buildings were completely destroyed and the bodies of people were still under the rubble. The rescue team was at work, removing rubble and trying to retrieve bodies that had been there for two days, resulting in a strong smell.

One colleague spoke to Ikram, a 17-year-old, who recounted how her father urged them outside as the walls shook. Despite her shock, Ikram and her family showed remarkable hospitality, inviting our team for lunch. Their generosity, even after losing so much, was striking. Even in a small village where we distributed aid later, locals welcomed us, offering cups of tea. Their resilience and kindness, even amidst such hardship, serves as a lesson to us all.

Programmes and Partnerships

Our subgroup traveled from Chichaoua to Marrakech, aiming to collaborate with our partners there. The primary goal was to discern the immediate needs and strategise our response. Among the foremost challenges was procuring shelters or tents since they’re scarce in the region. While sourcing blankets and mattresses posed initial challenges, we’re thankful that, with the help of local partners, we managed a timely delivery.

After leaving the warehouse, we headed to Amizmiz to join the rest of the team and begin distributions. Our journey took us to a remote village in the mountains. The challenging road delayed us further when a vehicle got stuck, but our team was quick to help.

Arriving in the village, named Douar Tedcharte, we found people outside in the cold. Some women shared their challenges post-earthquake, with one mentioning waking up to damp clothes due to frost. Though their homes weren’t demolished, enlarging cracks made them unsafe. We provided blankets and mattresses, which were gratefully received.

Reflecting upon the day, I can’t help but feel an overwhelming sense of fulfilment. While we might not have a permanent base here, the dedication of our team, in the face of adversity, has been unparalleled. I am deeply proud to be a part of the Islamic Relief family.

Help us serve thousands of families in Morocco

Together, we have the power to make a tangible difference. Your support can provide critical essentials like food, water, shelter, and emotional support to those who need it most. Don’t let them face this calamity alone. Stand with them and be a beacon of hope in their darkest hour and make an impact that will last a lifetime.