areas in Agadir invaded by underground car garages

In several central districts of Agadir, the spread of secret car garages on the roadway creates strong tensions with the residents. Our observer, a longtime resident of the Lkhiam district, condemns a situation that has become unbearable for both residents and employees, forced to work in precarious conditions.It is still called the “industrial district” of Agadir, but the reality is quite different: consisting of the areas of Lkhiam, Laazib, Amsernate and Agharass, this district is today the scene of a proliferation of car garages. illegal immigrants piling up on roads and sidewalks. A situation that has been going on since 2012 and which has been the subject of discussions in Agadir City Council since 2019.

In question, the authorities’ desire to clean up and improve the structure of the center, because the “industrial district” was in the heart of the city, too close to home in their eyes.
It was therefore converted into a residential area. The large number of vehicle maintenance shops there was thus closed. This decision made Agadir a city without a district devoted to trade and business of this kind.

“It is not done to close companies without providing an alternative.”

Omar Baghrar, chairman of the Federation of Craftsmen of Agadir, regrets that the city has abandoned its artisans:

We had installed our companies in this district, and it was decided to close them in the working class districts in 2012. The problem is bigger than a disagreement between residents and mechanics, it is due to an accumulation of the resolutions followed by the councils. former municipal authorities. It is not possible to close companies without providing an alternative.

“Noise sometimes exceeds 85 decibels, a level far above what the law provides”

Our observer Redouane Moufrid has lived in Lkhiam, the largest of these districts, since the early 1980’s. He has formed, with 32 district associations, a collective to condemn this phenomenon and find a solution to pollution and noise from the municipality.

About ten years ago, the district had about forty garages. With the university Ibn Zohr from AgadirWe now have more than 500. Since February 2020, we have seen two underground garages appear per week. This massacre also continued during the confinement, when everyone was at home.

These garages work seven days a week and cause a lot of noise. We brought in a volunteer sound and acoustics expert to assess this inconvenience: he observed an extremely high level, which sometimes exceeds 85 decibels. However, the maximum tolerated by law is 60 decibels, a level that is already very disturbing daily.

The author of this video taken in Lkhiam district has no less than 10 underground garages in this single alley.

Most garages are 3×3 m² and do not have enough space to repair cars and keep all maintenance equipment. The employees use the small premises to eat and run the business, but work on the streets. Engine oil and fuel oil flood the road everywhere. It is the occupation of the public sphere.

The colors used by these garages pollute the air in the neighborhood. In addition, it is a material that should be used in a safe and closed factory, far from home because it is harmful to the human body.

Car wrecks, air pollution and harassment on the street

Redouane Moufrid sent our editorial team a collective complaint document composed of its collective of neighboring associations and sent to Agadir municipality in the spring of 2019. To demonstrate the harmfulness of the products used by illegal garages, residents have attached their medical examinations to the document, which included serious coronary injuries (damage to the arteries that supply the heart) which for our observer is linked to the spread of illegal garages.

Redouane emphasizes that these companies also pose a permanent danger to residents:

On the other hand, these companies work with tools that do not respect safety measures and use gas that is normally produced for large industries, which can cause explosions at any time. [Un incendie explosif a éclaté dans une tôlerie clandestine du quartier de Laazib, près du quartier de Redouane, le 9 janvier 2019. Il n’a fait aucune victime, NDLR].

Agadir 24tv-media broadcast this video filmed by a resident of Laazib. We can see the building above the completely smoky workshop, before firefighters arrived.

In our neighborhood, schools are in the middle of ruined cars and secret “workshops”, and children can not even play or move safely on foot from home to school.

The garage workers are not from the neighborhood, as are their bosses who are hardly ever there, and to whom we can not directly complain, so that above all another problem has arisen: the young employees spend their nights here when the work is over and continue to listen. night. During the day or in the evening, some of them harass young girls and women, who no longer feel safe in their own area.

At 028, the author comments on this video posted by our Observer: “This is supposed to be a residential area. We are in front of an elementary school. This is a situation that has been going on for several years. The sidewalk is definitely more useful.”

We had meetings with Agadir City Council in May 2019, which had promised to build an industrial district in the northern part of Greater Agadir. One year later, we only received recommendations intended for the owners of these garages without a view of an industrial area far from our residential areas.
It is worse that we were told that garages have moved from other areas in Agadir to come and settle here. Because Lkhiam has become an important address for these companies!

The owners of these garages, for their part, acknowledged that the situation was not ideal. But they, in turn, demand that a proper industrial area be established.
They also see themselves as victims of rejection of city plans or slowness in development projects of Grand Agadir.

“We joined the professional chamber to hear our demands”

This is what Omar Baghrar, President of the Federation of Craftsmen of Agadir, claims:

The city of Agadir has no planned industrial district. There have only been residential areas here for several years. We no longer have areas that are completely dedicated to our companies, which is still necessary. The city planning office had offered the federation to buy premises, but the owners of small businesses can not afford to buy land and build their workshops on it! The current City Council has decided last year to develop 30 hectares for small and medium-sized companies and mechanics, on the side of Tikiouine (southeast of Agadir) on forest land. At the moment, the issue is in the hands of the Department of Water and Forests, which must approve this project, which would definitely solve the problem.

The observers’ editor contacted the city of Agadir, we will publish their response if it reaches us.Article written by Fatma Ben Hamad.