“Three seasons in just two hours,” according to the Ministry of Tourism, is the experience one receives when passing through this subzone—the Ghindae sub-zone. Located in the eastern escarpment and marked by a lush green landscape, Ghindae is currently in its rainy season. Everybody is familiar with the town since it is a resting point for travelers en route to the port of Massawa from Asmara. Travelers fail not to enjoy its naturally pleasant atmosphere.
Population and Climate
The subzone of Ghindae includes several towns comprised in 17 administrative zones. Around 12,000 families and approximately 54,000 people live within its boundary. The people’s life is mainly agricultural, some grazing and various commercial activities. The subzone of Ghindae entertains three climates; cooler climate (Dega), semi hot lowlands (Weine Dega) and lowland (Qola) climate. The naturally rich agricultural fields are source to many types of fruits; vegetables as well as places of bee breeding activities.
According to the subzone’s administrative office, research of the area was conducted in 2015 and experts concluded that the area is well-situated to exploit agriculture, promote grazing and create wild life reserves. Upon learning this good news, the administration, in collaboration with the local population, immediately took steps to adopt more careful plans to get more out of the land. The population genuinely protects the environment. They also protect the forest from being cut down and are using all means to prevent deforestation. As a result, the forests are getting intense and some of the wild animals that previously abandoned the area are returning to parks in the area. The natural diversity of the area from time-to-time is being restored in a way that captures visitors’ attention.
The governor of the subzone, Mr. Omar Yehya Haj, explains that the area has had abundant rainfall since 2014 and that this has enabled plentiful agricultural production. The cool climate of the subzone makes it suitable to grow other crops that yield a good economic return.
Since the 1994 government proclamation on deprived enclosures, the people of the subzone, in conjunction with the Eritrean Defense Forces, managed to protect and work the land. At the moment a clear boundary of the wildlife reserve is demarcated and is expected to be among the local tourist attractions in the future. The reserve contains includes 103 thousand hectares within its bounds and stretches far beyond the highlands of Seyidishi bending towards Algaeta of Anseba region and around Filfil Selemuna. It also reaches the sacred religious site of Akwar, Mai Habar and the town of Adi Rosso.
Economic /Agricultural Activities
The residents of the subzone alone own 300 plots of land. Most of the area is rich in ground water, including the ever-flowing river of Mai Adkemom. Citizens are often seen engaged in using heavy machineries to work the land. Many of them can be found in areas like Shebah, Metkel Abiet, Adi Shuma, Demas and Gahtelay engaged in irrigation-based agricultural activities, harvesting many types of crops.
Most citizens of Ghindae town live along side roads. Only few own large agricultural fields. Aside from the large plots, some cultivate their own plots land for small-scale, rain-fed food production. For this reason it can be easily said that most households make their living selling personally grown productions in local markets. Inside the subzone, the towns of Ghindae, Nefasit, Embatkala, Laayten and Dongolo are the locations where most of the businesspersons reside. In these towns, the soil and water conservation is regularly conducted in addition to efforts to enhance tourism activities.
Since the period of the Italians the population of the Ghindae subzone is familiar with efficient national development endeavors and skillful in agricultural activities. Fruits such as oranges, lemons, tangerines, guavas, papayas and watermelons are abundant, creating wealth in the subzone. Given the harmonious and multicultural environment, including the Tigre, Saho and Tigrigna peoples, it is easy to understand why solidarity exists within the community. Cooperation is witnessed within local markets, extending their market to Asmara.
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