The mosque that a village with electricity

Helps in Morocco the first solar-powered mosque in the country a whole community.

Tadmamet is just an hour's drive south of the bustling city of Marrakech. Located in the High Atlas mountains are the 400 inhabitants here 40 km far away from the nearest village and one lives there a simple, rural existence.

Crops such as barley, potatoes and apples are the main source of income. Most people have no cars. There are no smartphones to find and no internet connections. Even access to electricity is limited, and that is especially during the cold winter months very difficult.

Last year, Tadmamet News: the first solar-powered mosque in the country was built there. The roof is covered with solar panels, which produce as much energy that not only the mosque, but also large parts of the village can be equipped with electricity.

The mosque in Tadmamet is unique and it is part of the ' green mosque ' project, an initiative that was started three years ago by the Moroccan Government. The project aims to reduce the energy consumption of public buildings, starting with the 51,000 mosques of the country.

"The energy consumption of mosques is not as complex as other buildings, so it's a good place to start," said Jan-Christoph Kuntze of the German company for international cooperation (GIZ), a German Government agency that the company support, to the BBC.

In Tadmamet is also the mosque the only public building in the village. It is used as a classroom in order to replace the small school, which needs repair. "The children can come at any time now to study, because there is light", says Brahim Idbdslaam, the leader of the village Association. "The school had no lights."

The mosque also provides for street lighting in the evening and at night. Formerly the village sat in the darkness after sunset. And there are plans to use the extra electricity to pump water from the well for irrigation-something that currently is manually done.

The mosque of Tadmamet is equipped with a solar water heater firmly in a corner of the roof is placed. "Private households have no hot water," said Kuntze. "Now, people can take a hot shower from the village in the laundry room next to the mosque."

"The energy bill of the old mosque was divided among the members of the community, but now we pay nothing," said Idbdslaam.

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