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She’eb Sub Zone: Progress Wrought From Scratch

Twenty two years ago, She’eb and its environs were ravaged by the Ethiopian colonial regime and had been reduced to a state of an almost wilderness. However, the days of colonial era have now become past history. She’eb sub-zone, once a forgotten area is now gaining the opportunity of having different service rendering institutions in varied sectors.

There wasn’t a school in She’eb sub-zone before independence. The only school that was available was one elementary school that used to give educational services up to second grade level in the 1960s, which was burned down by the Ethiopian colonial regime. The inhabitants of the sub-zone used to travel to Keren and Massawa in pursuit of education. At present, however, with the exception of two administrative areas, there are many educational institutions in the six administrative areas of the sub-zone that are giving educational services from elementary to secondary levels.

With regards health care also the sub zone was one of the deprived areas. The inhabitants used to take rare advantages of healthcare services through the collaboration of EPLF units that dealt with civilian services. What the inhabitants of She’eb and its environs received form the colonial regime was only the massacre of 1988 that took the lives of around 400 innocent civilians. The sub-zone in general and She’eb in particular are witnessing a different reality today. This time there is a health center in She’eb that is giving services to administrative areas of Mensheb, Ghedged, and Tiluk.

A clinic in Wekiro is also giving services to Wedilo and Wekiro and in some cases the inhabitants would go to Massawa referral hospital for further medical care. Drawing comparison between the service rendering institution before and after independence there stands a distinctive difference.

Speaking of road networks, this area was one of the alienated areas. There was no road that crossed through the sub-zone. Nevertheless, in the post independence period, road construction was brought to the area. The construction began with asphalting the dirt road that perpetrates through north of Mensheb to Massawa. There are now no complaints as regards transportation services.Having experienced acute shortage of water supply during the colonial period with only two wells that were dug in 1952 and 1967 with the collaboration of individual residents, She’eb sub-zone solved the problem of potable water since the very first days of independence. Two additional were drilled and water had been distributed with the help of two generators form a water reservoir that could hold 500m3 of water which is then distributed to Mensheb through 14 water supply stations. Besides the aforementioned water supply stations there is a well and 4 stations in Ghineb, a well and five water supply stations in each of the administrative areas of Bishesh, Tiluk, Wedilo, Wekiro, and Ghedged. However administrative areas of Shelshela and Kilow have been lagging behind for the inhabitants of these areas make their living as nomads.

It is natural that along with the improvement of different service rendering institutions noticeable changes would occur in the living standard of the inhabitants of She’eb sub-zone. Through illiteracy eradication programs considerable achievement has been registered in women and adult education. The transformation in the soft component of the society has brought an admirable accomplishment in all-round development of that respected area and especially in agriculture. There is a well-established agricultural infrastructure in She’eb sub-zone for the government has been dispensing huge resources in that sector.

The agricultural infrastructures that have been put in place include the Laba water reservoir that was finalized in 2004 which begun to give services since 2005.  My’ule-another water source for agricultural activity and another project that has been constructed in Laba by Rodab Construction Company is expected to feed agricultural areas of She’eb ketin.

The people of She’eb and its surroundings mostly depend on water sources that flow down from the highlands. They practiced traditional canal systems, where as at this time modern water diversion schemes have been constructed that are making due contribution in boosting the economic sources of the people.

Even though vegetable cultivation has been introduced a while ago, She’eb is known for its crop production.  Since the farmers are now familiar with judicious utilization of water, along with crop production, a few farmers are investing in date and banana plantation which is showing promising outcome. Mr. Abdurahman Mohammed, Head of Economic Development in the sub zone said: “The people of She’eb sub-zone have good agricultural know-how and have been sharing their experiences with other farmers outside the sub zone.”

She’eb has benefited from the ever-increasing service rendering institutions. Nevertheless, Mr. Abdurahman pointed out the need for the improvement in electricity services and the establishment of new healthcare centers in Ghedged, and Tiluk.Concerning the future plans that are to be implemented in the sub-zone, Mr. Abdurahman said that their future projects include, putting in place agricultural infrastructure in Ghedged and Wekiro, the construction of new secondary school in Mensheb, and establishing various service rendering institutions so as to encourage the nomads settle in permanent settlements has been among  the major priorities.

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