Southern Region: striding for better developmental endeavors
Located in the Southern part of the country, the Southern region is diverse in its topographical patterns. Located within 380 15’-390 40’ East in longitudinal and between 140 25’ and 150 15’ Latitudinal North, the region enjoys various agricultural activities.
With the highest number of villages in Eritrea, this region has 1,018 villages which are scattered across 10,000 km². And, in order to implement an effective administrative system as part of the nation’s development strategy, the Government of Eritrea restructured local marks of the region. Villages of the Southern region were also regrouped, including to these colonially isolated but now developing hamlets, which are under the umbrella of 231 administrative areas.
Soon after independence, the government took decisive developmental efforts in revitalizing the almost engraved vision towards economic and social growth in the region. Thus, to exploit agricultural potencies of the three climatic areas of the region, it was vital to construct various dams, water catchments and reservoirs. Stemmed from this, topographical areas of the region—with the highest peak at Emba-Soira to the lowest part at Megerb Obel—fall under deep and compacted researches of the concerned governmental bodies.
Dams in Hadadm, Rubashiro and Deqilefay, are some of the 146 dams from which residents of the region are enjoying their agricultural endeavors. The Qeyhkore-Sesah diversion, for instance, is playing its determinant role in mobilizing farmers of the area into adapting modern farming system, and, resultantly, 275 hectares of land is under cultivation with the mechanization of drip irrigation. Yet, efforts are underway to explore the potency of the dam in expanding the agricultural works to 1,789 hectares.
As bad omen of the colonial legacy, before independence, there was only one small dam. Currently, however, there are 254 small dams and are consolidating their expansionary roles in alleviating such water provision hurdles in the entire region.
Programs in keeping endangered flora species are also at the core of the work of the Central Region’s administration. Diversified from the highlands in the areas that border the Central region, semi-highland and semi-lowlands of the region are suitable for various trees, including the Olea Africana, Ficus Sycomorus, Fiscus Vasta, Acacia Albida, Acacia Senegal and other listless types of uniquely existing trees.
Travelling from Adi-Gulti, a village where the famous shrine of the Menkerewos Monastery is located, to the amazing road of Engela-Demhina allows one an insight to the region’s abundance in the livestock population.
According to recent reports the region is blessed with 240,006 cattles—out of which 12,284 are dairy cows, 435,312 goats and sheep, 445,404 poultry and 3,207 pigs. By similar coin, to augment the honey production in the region, 14,348 beehives out of which 4,237 are under modern apiculture or beekeeping domain. Packing animals like donkey, mule and horses also cover an appreciative number.
In the arena of transport, the Southern Region is one of the succeeding parts of the country in allowing almost each village in the administrative zones to have an access to feeder roads. Yet, while over 78% of the region is under the provision of private buses, Harat Company plays a vital role in providing effective transport services across the two main asphalted roads including 8 subzones depending on these routes.
For armoring the unexploited tourism activities in the region, developing the road infrastructures in the 12 subzones is, surely, encouraging future touristic activities. And as a result, some of the ancient historical attractions such as Kohaito, Keskese, Metera, Ham, Beati Silum, Adigawil, Adibari, Endaba Metae as well as the war trenches of Adibegio, EgriMekel and other numerous cultural and religious monasteries are now accessible.
Concerning the efforts in ensuring sustainable provision of water supply, efforts are ongoing. According to statistics of the administration office, from the 1,018 villages, 267 villages have access to hand pump while 105 villages are getting their access underpinned by motor-supported water provision system. Solar and electricity energy sources are also emboldening the ventures for providing sources of drinking water in 184 villages.
By aiming at honing future generations, with higher concentration in guarantying educational opportunities in the far-flung areas, 494 schools are activating their undeniable responsibilities and are part of the national packages in guarantying the provision of basic human rights creed. Last year, 213,441 students attended regular classes, and 5,059 teachers and members of the academia also took the grail of success in driving the swing of teaching process.
At last, promising health facilities in the Southern Region are playing their significant roles in realizing the missions of the Ministry of Health.
The referral hospital in Mendefera, is one of the main spots for alleviating any impacts of communicable and noncommunicable diseases. Other four hospitals, two community hospitals, 46 health stations, nine health centers and a number of clinics are also up and running and, henceforth, contribute to the process towards sustainable national development.