Although Tunisia might seem like a perfect summer destination with its sunny weather, it still faces great floods during the winter. This is because its infrastructures cannot withstand the great quantities of rain that occur in a short amount of time between autumn and winter. The month of September 2018 will always mark the memories of Tunisians as it was when we witnessed one of the most dramatic floods of our history. With up to 4 deaths, the material losses seem to have been the heaviest in the Cape Bon peninsula, where water had reached up to 170 centimeters in height (that is almost as tall as most of the people you know!). After seeing the outcome of this calamity, Rotaract Clubs decided to take action and help out, like they usually do!
Right after these floods, the National Coordination of Rotaract Tunisia set up booths in supermarkets across Tunis, the capital, to collect donations for affected families. Thanks to the generosity of our community, we were able to help out 700 families with food, clothes and bed covers to keep them warm in the winter and to alleviate a little bit the things they lost because of the floods of September. These families were from the region of Takelsa in Nabeul, one of the most heavily hit cities of that autumn. On distribution day, the amount of happiness we saw in the eyes of the habitants was priceless and justly proved the point and the purpose of being in Rotaract! Fast forward to 3 years later, the National Coordination couldn’t just wait for the next flood to change lives. This time, it thought of something better, something smarter and something certainly more durable.
This Rotaryan Year, we, Rotaract Tunisia, have decided to partner up with a green local start-up called Zigofiltre. It has been founded by some young entrepreneurs who want to make a lasting change in their communities. The idea is to put filters in the sewers so as to stop garbage and waste from going into the underground draining tunnels, hence the “filtre” in its name. That way, only water will flow through and it will stop rain from flooding the tunnels too quickly. Through this partnership, 50 units were installed on the 19th of December 2021 in two different big cities in Ben Arous. More than 30 clubs were present in this pilot project, where Rotaractors collectively inserted the metallic filters with the guidance of the start-up engineers. This project will not stop here: we still plan to install even more units in even more cities to prevent floods and all the losses that come with them.
From helping out 700 families in one project, to affecting the lives of thousands of people in one day, Rotaract Tunisia will always make me proud to belong to such an entity. I believe that we are the carriers of goodwill and sustainable change in our community. But don’t blink just yet, or you might miss our next big national project!
Ahmed Tahé Allala
Tunisian CR at the Mediterranean Rotaract
(Rotaract Club Tunis Hope, District 9010)