Name Of City / Municipality
Halfway between the administrative capital (62 km) and Casablanca (55 km), it is located between Tit Mellil, Ain Harrouda, Mohammedia in the south; Skhirat and Temara in the north and Bouznika in the west.
The population of the town of Benslimane is estimated at 58,194 inhabitants. (According to HCP 2014)
About 240,000 ha (2,400 km2)
Main Features: Cultural And Historical Status / Tourism Attractions / Natural Sites
Several factors led to the emergence of Benslimane. The main factors relate to particular historical and human conditions.
Thus, at 1km southwest of the town lies the shrine of saint Sidi Mohamed Benslimane, where a major Moussem of the Ziaida tribe takes place every year. On the other hand, Benslimane has always been an important weekly market. Therefore it was ideally located to serve as a gravity center for human settlement and as a local command post. This also explains the military origin of the city.
In fact, the Chouia region's major organization in the resistance against the colonial invasion and the landing of the French troops in 1907 led the French army to set up a large military garrison which became a base for controlling the various surrounding tribes (Mdakra, Ziaida...). This military base was named after the French officer Boulhaut who was killed during the resistance. The town was called Camp Boulhaut since its establishment until Morocco was divided into provinces and the Benslimane region was divided between the Provinces of Rabat, Casablanca and Settat. In 1977 a province was created with the town of Benslimane as its main city, thus promoting a large urban dynamics. The creation of barracks was directly followed by the development of a residential area for the military, initially occupied only by the French who constituted the core of the town. The town grew along the way leading to Bouznika, in parallel with the forest to the north.
In terms of settlement, historically the original main ethnic group which lived in the region is Ziaida, which initially included some twenty tents. They originate from the Berber family of Sanhaja composed of two fractions: Moualines El Outa and Moualines El Ghaba, the main families are Kedamra, Ghlemiyines and Ouled Benslimane. They all claim to be Cherifian of origin as descendents of Moulay Idriss. To this primary settlement, many foreign settlers poured in throughout the centuries.
Plunged in the beautiful greenery of the cork oak forest, it is called the "Green City" or Ifrane of Chaouia. Benslimane enjoys an exceptional climate that has therapeutic properties for asthma patients. It offers interesting possibilities for climate-therapy, for people with respiratory diseases. The town of Benslimane is characterized by a continental climate (hot and humid in summer, cold and rainy in winter). The average annual temperature is around 35 °C maximum and 10 °C minimum.
The average annual rainfall is 400 to 500mm (average over a period of 18 years);
Regarding the prevailing winds in the Benslimane area, they are:
- Ghoddaya: Winds in autumn with rain.
- Makkou: Temperate and gentle breath in spring.
- Smikkel: Cold sea wind in winter mornings which causes soil dryness.
- Chergui: Summer wind, hot and dry which dries the soil.
The relief of Benslimane and its region is less rugged and includes part of a low altitude shelf of about 300m, rising gradually to the south to reach 500m, while gradually decreasing to the north and west towards the Atlantic Coast.
Regarding urbanization, plains dominate, except for the west side where a small hill dominates the surrounding agricultural landscape. The hill is approximately 250m high.
In addition, the site is dotted with Dayas of varying sizes up to 2 ha. In contrast, large rocks at the surface take special shapes which gives the landscape an attractive look.
Furthermore, the abundant and various sources in the surrounding environment have been a favourable factor for the establishment of the town.
The forest is an important area in the Benslimane Province. It occupies an area of about 62000ha populated mainly by cork oaks. In addition it offers citizens various leisure activities namely hunting.
Located at the edge of the forest, the town of Benslimane is thus surrounded by 12500ha of forests to the north, northwest and east. Generally speaking, the forest has always been respected and is so far spared by urban development. The main slum established in the middle of the past century was eradicated by the Ministry of Housing in the 80s while ensuring proper people's relocation and the forest's preservation.
Main Economic Activities (Industrial, Agricultural)
The active population includes the employed population and the unemployed population. The first consists of everyone with a job at the time of the national census. The second is composed of all persons aged 15 years and older who do not have a job at the time of the census and are looking for employment.
As for the inactive population, it includes all persons who, at the time of the census, do not work and are not looking for a job. This includes housewives, schoolchildren and students, pensioners, annuitants, and the sick and infirm.
In the absence of recent data on unemployment in the town, only data of the last census are given here.
The table below shows the employment situation by gender between 1994 and 2004:
Note that the rates of urban employment at the national level are as follows: 54.4 for men, 19.8 for women and 36.8 for both sexes, which means Benslimane is below the national average, despite being close to the major centers of activities and services.
Structure analysis of the active population by status in employment help in assessing the importance and characteristics of employments created by each sector and provides an idea about the economic level of the locality.
Benslimane's active population is spread over various sectors according to their status in employment as shown in the following table.
|Status in employment||2004|
|Public sector employees||33|
|Private sector employees||31.9|
The public sector is the main source of employment in the town. This table also shows the existence of an active population working in Benslimane's private and property sectors, which reinforces the idea that a metropolisation process is underway in this region.
Challenges Of Sustainable Development
The presence or absence of a number of public facilities and urban services have spatial impacts and structural effects, insofar as they help meet the population's social needs and contribute directly or indirectly to a city's attractiveness.
The town of Benslimane has several types of educational institutions as shown in the following table:
|Colleges and Graduate Schools||0||0||0|
|Vocational Training Institutes||03||03||06|
Benslimane has a youth center, a cultural center and a women's center.
These three facilities are quite popular since they have a large number of members and host various events throughout the year. The following table shows the various facilities found in the town:
|Public facilities||Number of facilities||Private facilities||Number|
|Centre for the disabled|
|Athletics training center||01|
The management of public lighting was delegated in July 2004 to ONE for a duration of 10 years. The aim is to ensure network performance upgrade which currently has increased significantly (working lamps: 98%)
The town's drinking water is provided from the hydraulic complex of Wad Bouregrag and the network's management is ensured by ONEP.
The storage capacity is 5500m3, arranged as follows:
- 3 semi-buried tanks of 1000m3, 25003 and 1500m3.
- 1 overhead tank of 500m3 capacity.
The current distribution network is about 120km long. With the implementation of the new business area, it will grow significantly.
The town of Benslimane has an important sewerage network which basically follows the natural watershed.
The town currently adopts an unitary sanitation system.
The total length of the existing system is about 36km.
The town's sanitation network is characterized by a predominance of diameters Ø300et Ø400 which represent respectively 24% and 41% of the total linear.
About 98% of the town is connected to the sewerage system.
The network is actually composed of two sub-networks, separated by RS117, with the same discharge point.
The equipments used for the management of the sanitation service are:
- 2 ditch cleaners mounted on tractors
- 1-motor pump
- Human resources available
- 1 team leader
- A 4-person manual cleaning team
The major problem facing Benslimane's sewerage system is the lack of maintenance due to the town council's limited capacities. The three main problems are:
1. The presence of deposits in sewers due to solid waste collection, infiltration of sand, cement and concrete (predominant).
2. Infective rainwater harvesting system due mainly to inadequate or poorly distributed rainwater harvesting facilities.
3. Structural defects:
- Manholes located on roadways are usually paved.
- Catch basins are usually sealed.
- Connections are poorly developed.
It should be noted that the sanitation service within the municipal park is endeavoring to address grievances of the general population through sewer cleaning services.
In order to overcome deficiencies in the sewerage network, the town has developed a masterplan for liquid sanitation. An urgent section has been identified, consisting of:
-Rehabilitation of the town's old sewerage network
- Adoption a partially separate system by setting up rainwater harvesters.
-Sanitation network for the new administrative district and theeconomic zone
Benslimane has a sewage treatment plant that collects all the town's wastewater through a feed pipe. The plant covers the town's needs for up to 2010. Commissioned in June 1997, the aerated-pond plant has tertiary treatment across the operational basins. Water is then pumped to the Benslimane Golf course to water the green areas. The plant’s processing capacity is 5600m3/d.
In addition to cleaning the town's wastewaters, this plant helps preserve the natural habitat and the environment and reduce the consumption of water resources.
With the support of the Government, the local authorities are implementing a thematic agreement on waste’s sector whose main objective is to upgrade and develop management systems for household waste and improve their environmental and social performance.
The town of Benslimane delegated to OZON company the management of cleaning services which include:
- The collection of household waste, municipal solid waste and bulky waste, open dumping waste and transportation waste, as well as the disposal of the collected wastes in legal landfills;
- Cleaning of roads and public spaces (roads, sidewalks, squares, gutters, street furniture, etc.) according to a specific program, and transporting and disposing of cleaning products in legal landfills.
Benslimane's road network extends over some 41Km serving all residential areas of the town. Almost all roadways are paved.
The current state of the network is as follows:
State: Good 80%, Average 3%, Poor 2%, 4% Deteriorated, Unpaved 6%.