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Policy Makers

Dar Zaghouan: Discover the first charming ecological holiday accommodation in Tunisia

At SwitchMed, we develop pilot demonstration projects on the circular economy, in accordance with national policies on sustainable production and consumption in the southern region of the Mediterranean perimeter. Follow the story of Skander Zeribi, one of the first promoters of alternative accommodation, who invites us to take an innovative green approach in his ecotourist accommodation in Tunisia.
Approximately fifty kilometres from Tunis, we find the city of Zaghouan, famous for its springs and its highly sought-after pure water. It is here that Skander chose to establish Dar Zaghouan, the first charming farm and ecological holiday accommodation in Tunisia, back in 2006. This innovative initiative seeks to put the concept of the circular economy for efficient management of energy, water and waste into practice, in a bid to raise awareness among visitors and regional residents and educate them environmentally.
Skander explains this route to us: “Since I first launched my ecotourism project, I have always thought about the environment and how to raise awareness among Tunisian and foreign customers about sustainability and the safeguarding of flora and fauna. The world has changed in recent years; customers are increasingly demanding with regards to waste recovery, renewable energy and the circular economy”. 
Skander sought the help of local artisans, who worked on recovering wood, olive pomace, stones and used tiles that were entirely reintegrated into the construction site of the eco-chalet. Waste water from showers, sinks and hammams will be redirected, after treatment, to the organic vegetable garden.
Since 2016, the SwitchMed programme has been supporting Skander’s efforts with a technical study on the efficiency of resources in his establishment, and by strengthening his international reach through international ecotourism certification.

Watch his video

According to forecasts, the ecotourism establishment may save between 20 and 40% of its total water consumption by limiting the flow rate from taps and recovering an average of 470 m3 in rainwater per year. The installation of a heat pump will enable the sun’s heat to be captured and taken into buildings, thereby generating up to 60% of the heat necessary to heat a home.

Dar Zaghouan has been chosen from the most innovative pilot projects of the SwitchMed programme financed by the European Commission in accordance with the Tunisian Ministry for the Environment and the European Union delegation in Tunisia. It contributes towards the development of the sustainable consumption and production national action plan for Tunisia, focused on two priority sectors: food and tourism.
For more information, browse their website.

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