Genesis Morocco: Towards integrating a marginalized workforce.

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Genesis Morocco

Project Genesis is a strategic sustainable development framework for Morocco to translate from being a net importer of energy and a country facing water shortage issues, into the number one producer both of clean renewable energy and water in the region.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010    <<Home

Towards integrating a marginalized workforce.

This morning I have witnessed a scene repeated countless times, too many times, one too many. Everyday across the Kingdom in every major city people prowl trash containers looking for anything of value, that can be recycled, cardboard, plastic, glass and aluminum can be resold to industries that recycle them. They are also active in the public dumps usually situated at the periphery of cities.

Theses people have no work papers, no health insurance; it is a weak expression to say that they are marginalized, since on the official radar they do not exist.

In order to integrate them, a census has to be conducted as to how many they are; I think the figure would be quite sizeable, and what is the population’s composition, mostly young and middle aged males from what I have seen. We have to estimate justly their apport to the economy; I believe it is quite important since poverty in the country leads many young men to recycle for a living.

Their contribution is not only important, but their role is essential to the recycling industry, they provide each day tons of recyclable material, they are part of the whole chain's backbone. Surely the amounts of material that they provide to the recycling industry translate into tons of CO2 that will not be released in the athmosphere. In a green economy, recycling has a major role to play and those people are key here in Morocco as we have no recycling scheme implemented at home owner level.

Following the census we can to issue them badges and work uniforms, gloves and boots, guarantee them a minimum income and health benefits as a way to integrate them in the social fabric. I would find the argument that we thereby legitimate an illegal activity, prowling trash containers, totally fallacious. Those people are there, day in day out in the streets of our cities, and we have to deal pragmatically with the situation and not pretend that they do not exist, which sadly seems to have been the case for a long time.

The fight against poverty must go on.