It is a common knowledge that reforestation and generally soil and water conservation activities are decisive factors for ever booming agricultural undertaking.
Thus, soil and water conservation activities are determiners for food security. Reserving water during the rainy season through construction of terraces, planting of seedlings and impounding water in strategic dams and other reservoirs are reasons for a sustainable agricultural harvest. Engaging themselves in different water and solid conservation activities, besides agricultural activities on plains, the inhabitants of Mendeferea Sub-zone have started cultivation on terrains.
The inhabitants of Mendefera sub-zone have been getting accustomed with modern agriculture techniques and hence carrying out remarkable soil and water conservation.
Forto, in Medefera sub-zone, used to have good coverage of trees. In 2014, Agriculture Ministry’s branch in the sub-zone in collaboration with government workers and people carried out extensive terracing activities in a bid to redress the area with good vegetation coverage.
According to Mr. Mokonen Fsehaye, specialist in water and soil conservation, an area of about 157 km was terraced. While 55,170 seedlings were planted and the 97.58 % of which have grown as stated by Mr. Weldu Ghebregergish, Wild Life and Forestry specialist in the sub-zone.
Owing to the intensive water and soil conservation activities and good rainy season natural vegetation locally known as Gomoro, Gaba, Seraw, Andiel and Zengi- Adgi -which were at the very of extinction- have been revived. All these were realized in a period of only one year.
In 2015, as part of Students Summer Work Program, around 10,000 seedlings were planted. All in all, as of 2014, a total of 65,070 seedlings were planted. Almost a 100% success has been registered in planting trees. This respective area (Forto) has been ranked first in the overall soil and water conservation activities carried out throughout the country.
Forto is now a very likable area which gives meaningful pleasure to visitors. As per Mr. Weldu’s elaboration, the seedling planting as well as terracing and generally soil and water conservation program has been planned to be carried out for three consecutive years and 2016 is expected to witness broad water and soil and water conservation activities.
Worth remembering plantation activities have also been carried out in Adi-Wegri and Haben schools. Good care taken by the two schools has remarkably contributed to the growth of 93.32% of the planted seedlings. Haben School has been ranked first from all schools in the Southern region and received ward of merit for its efforts in reforestation activities.
Similarly, Adi-Wegri Secondary School has been engaged in extensive plantation activity.
Around 20,000 seedlings of Gomoro, Eucalyptus, Gaba and Berbere-Selim, which are in good conduction, have been planted in 2015 in collaboration with Ministry of Education and the Sub-zonal Administration.
Mr. Woldu reiterates the need for proper follow-up and surveillance activities lest the achievement would not sustain long.
There are different enclosures in Mendefera sub-zone while an enclosure in Deranto is highly noticeable. The thickness of tree covered area grabs one’s attention to an extent comparable to Semenawei Barhri forest. Palm trees that have been planted on the side roads of Mendefera streets are giving the city an added beauty.
Sharing views about the successful soil and water conservation activities that have been carried out in the sub-zone Mr. Eyasu Asefaw, head of Agriculture Ministry’s Branch in Mendeferea, said “We have already started the task and remarkable achievement has been registered, but we have not reached the envisaged goal.”
“We would continue to mobilize and assist farmers of the area in reforestation activities so as to register remarkable achievement beyond what has so far been realized,” Mr. Eyasu added.
Similarly, Mr. Maekele Tesfamichael, head of Economic Development in the sub-zone, is of the idea that the farmers are implementers of the set out programs and what they seek from Agriculture Ministry is proper technical guidance.
Eritrean farmers are indeed hard workers. They have always been engaged in strenuous farm works so as to gather fruits of their toil. This is so true with all participants of the reforestation activities. What has been achieved so far is a result of proper coordination and above all active and unremitting efforts of all who made due contribution in terracing, seedling plantation as well as the overall soil and water conservation activities.