aerial view of wastewater treatment plant
An aerial view of a wastewater treatment plant. (Photo by Marcin Jozwiak on

From Tunisia to Morocco, sun-baked North Africa has embarked on a building spree of plants that purify sea and wastewater as climate change intensifies droughts in the water-scarce region.

Across the Maghreb region, which takes in parts of the Sahara desert and is plagued by scorching summer heat, countries are banking on new desalination plants and facilities that can purify wastewater for farming.

In Tunisia, struggling through its fourth year of drought, engineers recently inspected a desalination plant being built in the southern town of Zarat on the Mediterranean coast.

Across the region, "the only solution is the desalination of seawater for human consumption," said Mosbeh Helali, outgoing CEO of Sonede, the company constructing the plant.

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