Dekemhare Sub-Zone holds Ever-Flaming Development Torch
Dekemhare is one of the major cities in Eritrea. Like the cities of Asmara, Massawa, Keren and Mendefera, this city has a well structured infrastructure. And the sub-zone is also known for its agricultural endowments and equally important the city is an industrial zone. There are a number of qualities which makes the entire sub-zone an economic hub. Situated 40 km from Asmara, Dekemhare sub-zone borders to the north with the central region, to the west with Dubarwa sub-zone, to the south with Mai-Ayni sub-zone, to the east with Segeneyti, it also borders with the Northern Red Sea region. Such a geographical area to which the sub-zone is situated makes it a center of interactions. The sub-zone has 75 thousand inhabitants in 18 administrative areas that are also grouped in 48 villages. Of Eritrea’s nine ethnic groups, this sub-zone is a home to the ethic groups of Tigre, Saho and Tigrigna. So, it is also endowed with a cultural diversity. Elevated in about 2,050 above the sea level, the sub-zone is a good place to live in.
The Dekemehre city was familiarized with modern construction in the 1920s. Since then it has been known for its advances in construction as well as modern farming system. It also owns art deco building. Its geographical area has also been gradually expanded to date. Currently, the city is situated on around 435 hectares but is still being expanded. And most of its inhabitants earn their living through agriculture and trade.
The sub-zone also is a place for around 30 vast plantation areas and 25 of which are functional to date. Under these agricultural areas verities of fruits and vegetables are being cultivated. Apple, strawberry among others has extensively been harvested from this sub-zone. Owing to its huge grape harvest, “Grape Day” feast was annually celebrated in Dekemhare in the month of August. All the around 80 wells that were drilled to water the vast grapevine plantation are still in a good working condition. Generally, the 1920s torch of development has ever been flamed in the post-independence period.
Dekemhare used to have around 14 factories, but such a development was disrupted during the British and Ethiopian colonial era. However, its industrial progress has been revitalized in the post-independence period. Dekemhare sub-zone which is highly known for its agricultural harvest and good infrastructure had one main asphalted road, but no feeder roads. In the post independence-period, therefore, asphalted feeder roads and side road trees have given the city an extra beauty. Corresponding to the implementation of infrastructures, its total number of factories has also risen to 25.
With the growing number of factories and agricultural developments, a need for secured water supply becomes a necessity requisite. Following the exploration for underground water resources that was conducted within the premises of Gura’e, Adi-Golgol and Adi-Hare, the putting of water supply projects in place within a timeline that stretch between 2007 and 2010 has solved the existed water supply sacristy in a great deal. Based on this, eight wells were drilled and water has been pumped to a reservoir tank in Hadamu. A number of villages have now gained access to potable water from Hadamu distribution center through pipelines and also from eight additional water supply stations.
Electric power supply was mainly confined to the Dekemhare city alone. So far, many of the 48 villages of the sub-zone have become beneficiaries and only 13 of this total number have not yet gained access to such a supply. But, with the continuing installation of electric supply equipment, all the rest villages would also become beneficiaries of electric power supply in the near future.
Education is also among the sectors that has been showing tremendous progress. In the sub-zone, there are two secondary, 10 junior, 26 elementary schools and eight kindergartens as well. All in all, there are 44 educational institutions which are evenly distributed throughout the sub-zone. A new secondary school is also under construction. Owing to a broadening access to education, the inhabitants of this sub-zone, at the highest, travel for around 1.5 km.
As regards healthcare, there is a hospital and a healthcare center in Dekemhare and three other healthcare institutions are in the rural areas. According to Mr. Efrem Ghebrekrstos, administrator of Dekemhare sub-zone, there has been no healthcare problem throughout the sub-zone.
The entire sub-zone is interconnected to each other via roads network and has good transportation access. Mr. Efrem said that a bus terminal worth 15 million Nakfa which has been constructed to serve the growing transportation service would now be finalized with an extra investment of six million Nakfa.
Being a sandy area, erosion is the sub-zone’s major challenge. A huge amount of sand have been eroded away or pilled on the main streets of the city. “Erosion has been a major threat to Adi-Golgol village,” Mr. Efrem Said. But, the inhabitants of that area are working to prevent any challenge that could pose threat through constructing check dams.
The sub-zone possesses vast fertile areas, and big plantations like that of A’la have been providing vegetables and fruits to Asmara’s markets. A 300 membered association of vegetable, fruits and dairy farmers have been playing due role in supplying dairy, fruits and vegetables at fair price. Animal feed processing factory in Dekemhare is also making due contributions in boosting dairy productions. The main problem that pose threat to such endeavors is the gradually decreasing water resources.