In preparation for this year’s winter season and as part of its yearly national plans against cold waves, the Moroccan government has distributed 150 satellite phones in several villages in mountainous areas.
The country’s Delegate Minister at the Ministry of Interior, Noureddine Boutayeb, announced this on Tuesday, January 28, while fielding questions on measures to be undertaken by the government as it regards to tackling the phenomenon in remote areas particularly.
According to him, these satellite phones would allow people in these areas better access to communication during the period as the initiative is part of Morocco’s national plan to ensure the safety of its citizens during cold snaps.
“There is no longer any territorial or telephone isolation,” Boutayeb said.
Launched 10 years ago, and updated at the start of each winter season, the initiative’s plan for this year includes the mobilisation of “a national monitoring committee 24 hours a day, to provide the necessary services to the inhabitants of mountainous areas.”
During a meeting in November last year, the committee identified 1,753 douars threatened with isolation this year, and agreed to take several actions to support the villagers. Also, Authorities have mobilised 2,480 doctors and medical staff, 745 mobile medical units, 465 ambulances, 1,480 snow removal machines, and 1,003 drivers in readiness. The committee is raising citizens’ awareness of cold waves, guaranteeing a normal supply of primary products, making a census of pregnant women, taking care of the homeless, and distributing firewood.
A satellite phone is a type of phone that connects to the telephone network by radio through orbiting satellites instead of terrestrial cell sites, as cellphones do. Satellite phones can work in areas that are off the telephone network grid.
Ogechi Onuoha is a Cambridge Certified ESOL editor with a background in reporting, international relations, creative writing and adept in industry research and analysis. She is passionate about curating and evaluating the benefits/relevance of space to grassroots development and women’s participation in the space sector.