Located about 110Kms southeast of Asmara, Adi-Keih town is one of the Southern region sub-zones that are endowed with different ancient historical sites. It is a center of ancient civilization waiting to be excavated by scientist. It lies almost 2,500 meters above sea level and has a moderate climate. Known for its tourism assets especially to the eastern parts, the town, just as every other place in the country is marching towards development. The putting in place of modern facilities that compliment its historical relics gives the town a unique attribute. Shabait conducted an interview with the Administrator of the sub-zone, Mr. Mohammed Hamid, concerning the town’s development activities. Excerpts follow:
Would you please give us a general picture of Adi-Keih?
The sub-zone has 21 administrative areas and is inhabited by about 63,000 people. Most of the settlers are Tigrinya and Saho ethnic groups, as well as few from Tigre ethnic group. The people are mainly engaged in agricultural and pastoral activities. The local inhabitants are very protective of the ancient historical artifacts in their land and strive to preserve them, some of which date back to 750 B.C. Had not those inhabitants preserved these historical sites such as Kohaito and Tokonda properly, the drawing on rocks, musical instruments, clothing style, wedding ceremonies and others would not have been maintained for generations. We can understand from this to what extent the inhabitants are conscious in cherishing their tradition and rich heritage.
Tell us about the provision of educational services in the sub-zone?
All administrative areas have access to educational services as a result of government and peoples endeavors. We have more than 24 schools ranging from kindergarten to secondary school levels. Besides, the construction of secondary and junior school by Segen National Construction Company and two community-based schools are underway as part of the 2010-2011 development program. Furthermore, the recently inaugurated College of Arts and Social Science is expected to add impetus the development progress of the town. With the increasing distribution of educational opportunities, girls’ participation in schools is also showing commendable progress. Their participation was previously constrained to elementary level, nevertheless they have become competitive in their academic pursuit even in higher educational level.
What changes have been registered in terms of health care service in the sub-zone?
We have five health care institutions besides the referral hospital of the Southern region. Vaccination programs and other health care services are constantly carried out even in remote areas of the sub-zones through mobile health stations. Health trainings are also given to local inhabitants who can voluntary serve in the founded community-based health stations.
How about the development in transport and communication facilities as well as other social services?
Currently, all administrative areas are connected through road networks except one administrative area. New roads were constructed in the center of Adi-Keih town and the old ones have been renovated. The construction of Egila-Foro road is nearly finalized and is expected to alleviate transport and related problems. It would also promote trade relations between the region and the Northern Red Sea region.
Regarding the installation of electricity services, 13 sub-zones are on the process of obtaining electricity supply. Besides, a water project was completed in Adi-Keih sub-zone in 2009 and has commenced rendering potable water supply to the local inhabitants. Moreover, the distribution of mobile telephone service began in the sub-zone last year.
What about the agricultural activities in the area?
Various agricultural activities including the conservation of soil and water, construction of dams and land leveling are carried out to boost agricultural productivity. Many farmers are also engaged in cultivating fruits and vegetables which are playing significant role in stabilizing market demand of the town. In addition, efforts are underway to augment bee farming in the area which is aimed at producing enough honey to satisfy local market demand.