Water is Precious - Especially in North and West Africa

Success Stories20 Dec 2019

The Moroccan company, Smart Irrigation, based in Marrakesh, the pearl of southern Morocco, successfully develops challenging projects for the sustainable use of scarce water resources in North and West Africa. Examples of such projects by Smart Irrigation include installing water basins for plantation irrigation systems in which olives, lemons and mangoes thrive. Especially in North Africa, everything revolves around the best possible protection and use of scarce water resources.

Author: Silke Landtwing, Manager Corporate Communications, Leister Switzerland

Morocco has been implementing an ambitious agricultural plan called «Plan Maroc Vert» since 2008, which includes the irrigation of 500.000 ha / 1.235.527 ac by 2020. Smart Irrigation’s core business is geared towards this irrigation plan, because the company’s knowhow includes the installation of irrigation basins with geomembranes and the associated solar-powered drip irrigation systems. These systems are a perfect fit with MAROC VERT's philosophy, because the plan also envisages consuming as little water as possible and using renewable energies.

Smart Irrigation relies on Leister quality

Smart Irrigation was founded in 2014 by Omar Zakaria. The company has grown successfully since then and now has four teams that install geomembranes and drip systems. Smart Irrigation relies on Leister quality and has equipped the teams with the following Leister machines: GEOSTAR G5, COMET and TWINNY S for overlap welding of geomembranes, extruder FUSION 3 and hand tool TRIAC ST for repairing weld seams and welding plastic pipes and connections. Smart Irrigation uses the test needle from Leister for quality assurance, because it is crucial that all welding seams are tight, so that no water seeps through.

Successful in Morocco

Smart Irrigation’s real market is focused on Morocco. The projects implemented by the successful company range throughout Moroccan territory, whether in the north of the country with its green valleys and mountains or in the Moroccan Sahara, where temperatures reach 55 °C / 131 °F during the day and drop to around 0 degrees at night.

200 hectares of land irrigated for olive trees

In a project for the irrigation of olive trees in the El Gharb region, Smart Irrigation sealed an area of 46,000 m2 / 495,140 ft2 with HDPE geomembranes (1 mm / 0.04 in) and installed the complete drip irrigation system. The sandy soil meant that geotextiles were not needed when laying the geomembranes.


Smart Irrigation managed to weld the geomembranes with two GEOSTAR G5s and two FUSION 3s in a record-breaking ten working days. Olive trees are meanwhile already growing in the newly irrigated area and the first harvest was a complete success.

In search of new projects in West Africa

Smart Irrigation has been working for some time now to acquire projects in Mauritania, Senegal and Ivory Coast. Moroccan expertise is in great demand in those countries and some projects have already been successfully implemented.

Irrigation of mango and lemon plantations in Senegal

In the region of Dakar in Senegal, Smart Irrigation installed a 6,800 m2 / 73,194 ft2  basin and a complete irrigation system for mango and lemon plantations in two working days. The teams worked eight to ten hours per day to accomplish this, working especially in the early morning or late afternoon due to the high temperatures in this desert region. Geotextile was laid down first to protect the HDPE geomembranes, because the ground was very stony. Two GEOSTAR G5s as well as several FUSION 3s and TRIAC STs were used to weld the geomembranes.

The Leister-GEOSTAR G5 welds HDPE geomembranes, which are 1 mm / 0.04 in thick, at the rate of 6 m/min / 19.7 ft/min. As a result, even large geo-projects can be implemented especially efficiently, which saves a lot of time and money.

Successful cooperation

Rachid Benlakhouy, Sales Manager Africa at Leister Technologies AG, has worked very successfully for several years with our distributor CCIC in Casablanca and with Omar Zakaria, the founder and owner of Smart Irrigation.


In September 2019, the three held a plastic welding seminar. More than 30 customers from the region of Marrakesh took part in it. They were particularly enthusiastic about the new technology of the GEOSTAR G5 and TWINNTY T5, because the quality of the weld seam and the speed of work are among their priorities.