It is said that Morocco has the best beaches in Africa. With 21 of its beaches and Marina having won the "Blue Flag" label this year, it is not difficult to see why this is so.
The "Blue Flag" seal of approval was created in 1985 by the International Foundation for Education at the Environment and is given to beaches and marinas that meet and maintain the organization’s stringent criteria for bathing water quality, information, awareness and environmental education, health and safety, and finally planning and management.
Since its inception, the "Blue Flag" label has been given to 3,687 beaches in 49 countries in Europe, Africa, and America in collaboration with municipalities in charge of beach management. With 21 beaches on the list this year, Morocco ranks first among Arab countries and second among Africa countries.
To ensure that it solidifies this position, Morocco's Department for Sustainable Development has launched a new application Iplages to inform citizens and tourists about beaches, the quality of bathing water, facilities offered at the different Moroccan venues in order to help beachgoers choose the nearest and cleanest place to go swimming as well as the infrastructure and services available on the Moroccan bays.
The android app which was developed by national research laboratories for pollution monitoring provides citizens and tourists with vital information on 169 Moroccan beaches. With regards to water quality checking, the application receives data from 45 swimming stations in nine coastal regions, while it simultaneously collaborates with 451 air quality monitoring stations.
The application is updated every 15 days to provide beachgoers with accurate information any time, while the data it includes can also be accessible on the secretary of state website, rendering locals and tourists fully equipped to spend a safe and sanitary summer swimming in Morocco.
According to Nezha El Ouafi, the Secretary of State for Sustainable Development:
This new concept, developed in partnership with the National Laboratory for Pollution Studies and Monitoring, allows the general public access to information regarding the conformity of bathing water quality, as well as the services and infrastructure available on the beaches."
The Secretary of State made the launch announcement of the new application earlier this week when he released the annual national report on the water and sand quality of Moroccan beaches.
The report discovered that seven resorts in Morocco do not meet the standards for safe swimming due to cleanliness concerns, wastewater contamination, and inadequate hygiene infrastructure. These resorts are situated at the beaches of Oued Merzeg in Casablanca, Ain Atiq, in Rabat and Jbila III, in the north of Morocco.
Given the fact that the App is relatively new, we will just have to wait and see how effective it is.
Header Image Credit: Juliet Owen-Jones