Morocco to expand on “Successful Shantytown Eradication Program” despite Criticism

Morocco to expand on “Successful Shantytown Eradication Program” despite Criticism


Fatima Zehra Mansouri, the Minister of National Territory Planning, Urban Planning, Housing, and Urban Policy, has revealed plans to expand the shantytown eradication program which took place in the Skhirat-Témara region to the city of Casablanca, following what she described as commendable progress and success.

The recent demolitions prompted various politicians from the FGD, USFP, and PJD parties to condemn it, especially since it came amid Eid El Fitr, following Ramadan. It also lead to civil unrest in the Imhijer Douar in Skhirat but was successfully contained by the authorities, amid a large mobilization of law enforcement forces.

Addressing the House of Representatives during an oral questions session on Monday, June 19th, Mansouri acknowledged the significant strides Morocco has made in combatting the issue of shantytowns. She emphasized that their efforts have already transformed the lives of over 325,000 families, offering them a more dignified and stable living environment.

Reflecting on the new approach adopted, Mansouri noted that the launch of the first operation in the Skhirat-Témara region has already benefited 14,000 of the targeted 23,000 families. Mansouri assured that all families within the operation’s scope are set to benefit in the future.

“The success of this operation is what pushed me, along with the Minister of the Interior, to work on extending this experience in the city of Casablanca, which alone hosts two-thirds of the shantytowns in Morocco,” Mansouri said.

“The city alone is home to two-thirds of Morocco’s shantytown population, thereby presenting a significant challenge and opportunity,” stressed the Minister.

Mansouri identified nevertheless challenges to the expansion of the program, such as “a surge in family numbers after local authorities conducted a census.”

To tackle these issues, Mansouri revealed that problematic files are referred to a local authority committee. The committee applies a set of stringent scientific criteria to address such concerns.

The minister also expressed concerns about the shortage of real estate availability and asserted that the government is seeking alternative solutions.

These include re-housing initiatives and strengthening partnerships with the private sector to continue the successful eradication of shantytowns.