Casablanca Floods: Lydec Breaks Silence, Tries to Make Up

Casablanca Floods: Lydec Breaks Silence, Tries to Make Up. Photo: MAP

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Lydec, the company in charge of sanitation in Casablanca, has finally broken its silence amid heavy criticism and citizen uproar on the mismanagement of the floods in Morocco’s economic capital

The company held a press conference on January 12 to defend itself against the recent wave of frustration and complaints from Casablanca residents. 

The Managing Director of the company, Jean-Pascal Darriet, explained that the overflows are due to the saturation of the networks in certain areas which does not allow for the absorption of heavy rains, and in areas not yet equipped with rainwater drainage networks.

The heavy rains recorded in the city over this past week were characterized by their high intensity over short periods with a cumulative maximum of 250 mm from January 6 to 11, an event that alone represents 69% of the annual rainfall. 

The urban growth of Casablanca, with the establishment of new residential neighborhoods, the continuously developing urban center, and the opening of new peri-urban zones (Errahma, Dar Bouazza, Médiouna, Bouskoura) and new roads has further complicated the full equipment of drainage networks, claimed Darriet. 

“We are not responsible for the rain that falls, but we have a duty to do our job as specified in the delegated management contract and to provide solutions each time an anomaly appears,” Lydec’s CEO added.

Read also: Heavy Rainfall Destroys Tombs in Casablanca Cemeteries

Amid pressure from citizens, Lydec mobilized its resources to make up for the recent tragedy and prevent future catastrophic floods.

These include 358 managers and intervention operators specialized in sanitation; and 233 material units. The company’s director has also announced its intention to invest MAD 15 billion ($1.69 billion) in rainwater sanitation between 2020 and 2027. 

The French sanitation company has been subject to controversy since 2012. The city council of Casablanca had ordered Lydec to pay MAD 546 million ($64.2 million) for alleged breach of contract. The council’s ruling came as a result of the company’s failure to deliver on its  commitments. 

Over the years, the private company has repeatedly come under fire for failing to provide quality services to the population of Casablanca and for its inability to provide electricity, water and sanitation to people living in shanty towns around Casablanca.