Ensuring equitable distribution of social services throughout the country is vital in reaching out to remote areas. Ensuring access to basic social services for all citizens prompts a rise in their living standard. Water as indispensable part of human requirement, ought to be easily accessible to every human being. For this very reason, various water projects have been implemented in different parts of the country to alleviate any shortage of water. This was made possible through the Government’s strenuous efforts in collaboration with partners. The Eritrean Core Well Drilling Company (ECDC) is one of companies that is making due contribution in the efforts to ensure potable water supply to all citizens especially to remote areas. Mr. Kibreab Tesfai, the manager of ECDC conducted an interview with Shabait concerning the activities of the company. Excerpts follow:
Let’s start with the main tasks of the ECDC?
As its name indicates the main responsibility of the company is to extract natural resource through drilling wells. This company has 105 employees, of which 45 are technicians. In previous years, ECDC’s work focused on digging water wells that include digging wells in studied sites, measuring the amount of water available in the well and installing hand pumps for application. The equipment used for drilling work is very expensive and is not easily affordable. Currently, we are making the necessary preparation to commence the extracting and mining tasks as the demand for digging wells is decreasing. The decrease for the demand of digging wells only means that the provision of access to potable water supply in the country has made significant progress.
Can you tell us about the state of accesses to potable water supply in the country?
Around 75% of the entire population have now access to potable water supply, and our company has played active role in the endeavors. About 2,000 micro-dams have been constructed from 1995 until the present day by ECDC. 90% of the company’s work was digging dams, besides putting in place the foundation for micro-dams. Nevertheless, the intensive demand for water well drilling has significantly dropped.
What can you tell us about the underground water sources in the country?
The available of underground water depends on the amount of rainfall. This year the rainy season was satisfactory, and I believe we have accumulated adequate amount of water. However, this does not mean that underground water is available everywhere and its amount is sustainable. There are huge resources of underground water in the Gash-Barka region, eastern escarpment and other areas since river waters from the highlands are saturated there. In such places, one can find wells that pump 30 liters of water per second.
How do you explain the contribution of this company in the national development activities ?
I believe we are actively participating in the process of national development drive. In rural areas especially, the company is making due contribution in provision of potable water supply. As a result, no communicable diseases have been witnessed due to lack of potable water supply.
What can you tell us about the future plans of the company?
Previously, ECDC’s participation in mining was very minimal, but now we are exerting utmost efforts to engage in mining activities in collaboration with the 16 international mining companies in the country.