Sidetracked Magazine – The Ait Atta Migration
Nomadic Berber families on their annual migration from the Western edges of the Sahara to the High Atlas Mountains. A journey that is necessary for the nomads so they can escape the summer heat in the desert and provide grazing for their livestock and camels in the mountains over winter. The routes, camps and grazing spots have been passed down the generations. Due to less rainfall this migration is taking place earlier and earlier in each year. Water is becoming scarce, more livestock are dying on the journey and competition for adequate grazing spots is increasing. During the migration we only saw one lone Juniper tree and mass deforestation in the High Atlas has left nothing for the animals to eat during dry spells. A World Bank study in 2009 predicts rainfall in Morocco to reduce by 20 per cent by 2050. Nomadic Berbers are resilient and resourceful but their way of life is facing a challenging and uncertain future.