A DAY of praying for rainfall has been held across Morocco as the country continues to experience severe water shortages.

The desperate move was announced by King Mohammed VI, in his role of ‘commander of the faithful’, mimicking the Prophet who used to pray for rain during periods of scarcity.

Temperatures in the North African state have risen by up to 4 degrees since the 1960s while annual rainfall is on the decline, according to Moroccan university studies.

The livelihoods of many Moroccans are intertwined with the rains, as 40% of the population depends on agriculture to make a living.

“It’s too early to speak of drought,” an agricultural ministry official told the press.

“But if there’s no rainfall by mid-December, the situation will turn critical.”

It is believed that rainfall shortages will lead to crop failure across the nation which could force Morocco to resort to importing certain foods.

Local media have speculated that pilots could be set to inject salt crystals into clouds in order to bring about a change in fortunes by artificially causing rainfall.

Human rights groups have also expressed concerns that shortages could lead to increased numbers of Moroccans crossing the Strait of Gibraltar illegally in the search of greater food and water security.