Eritrean communities have brought about drastic changes to the national development. Nowadays in Eritrea, journeys to nearby towns and villages makes you realize that many places have grown dramatically. Many villages have changed with the support of communities and the government through the provision of basic social services such as electricity, education and water. More importantly, ongoing efforts are made to secure sources of water for drinking and agriculture. The availability of water significantly changes the social and economic welfares of communities. Adi Lamza is one of these villages which is renowned for its dense vegetation, genuinely protected by its people.
Adi Lamza is a small village located some 13 kilometers south of Asmara. The town is situated in Ghala Nefhi sub zone and has 135 households, eighty one farmers and a population of 470. The eighty one farmers are each provided a quarter of hectare land which they use efficiently to sustain their livelihoods. The entire population of the village depends on agriculture for their living throughout the year. Overall, the village has 450 hectare of land and forty three hectare is cultivated. Thirty one hectare out of this is cultivated using summer rain while the rest twelve hectare is cultivated using water sourced from the surrounding area. Irrigation-based agriculture has been the main way of cultivating the land in the village for decades. The zonal administrator of Adi Lamza, Ms. Abrahatsion Fsehaye, said that twenty two types of vegetables are grown in the farms, with high yields in carrots, potatoes, lettuce, spinach, cabbage, basil, celery, dill and tomatoes. The vegetables are harvested through the concerted efforts of the farmers and transported to Asmara markets every Saturday.
Availability and sustainability of the farms in Adi Lamza is secured by the dam constructed in 2011. Ms. Abrahatsion said that for the last seven years the dam has improved the livelihoods of the people. By growing cash crops, the people are able to make money and sustain their lives. They also quench their thirst and that of their livestock by using the water in the dam. Water pumped from the dam to the farms has eased the farmers’ workload. However, the cost of fuel and shortage of supply negatively influence the farmers’ individual incomes. For this reason, electricity supply is spreading in the village to minimize costs. Such initiatives also contribute a lot to the climate change of the sustainable development goal.
The villagers conduct regular and periodic soil and water conservation for effective land management. Hard work and devotion of the community is clearly seen in the small landscape made beautiful with many types of vegetation. More than twenty three types of trees are found in the village. Besides this, Mr. Tesfom Mogos, an agriculture expert in the village, says that the administration of Adi Lamza has a unique way of managing and protecting trees. The community has strong commitment to protect and preserve trees planted in the area. The community of Adi Lamza seems to fully grasp the importance of trees in their lives and its impact on the environment. Forbidden enclosures of the village are found in a maximum security. Livestock of the village have protected grazing land and trees are never cut without permission from the authorities in charge. The Eritrean society’s life depends on wood for fuel which makes it imminent to find alternative source of energy to fight deforestation. If people want to use wood for any purposes, they are only allowed to use branches of old trees but never cut or uproot them. Every household has its own smokeless stove which reduces wood consumption or the cutting of trees. Incidents such as wild fire are cautiously monitored by the community. Mr. Tesfom further said that other villages are taking Lamza as a model in protecting their environments. This way of administration is also attracting wild life into the area. Agricultural experts say that the current state of trees in Eritrea has been achieved because of reafforestation programs and the making of enclosures. In Adi Lamza alone around 200 hectare of land covered by trees is kept as a natural enclosure. Campaigns and information are given on a regular basis to help keep the community’s commitments to protecting the environment.
Apart from agriculture and related activities, the villagers social services in and out of their village. There is an elementary school in the village and a hospital in a nearby village serve villagers in Lamza.
Even though the cultivable land of Adi Lamza is small its inhabitants claim that the habit of using the available water for irrigation since the old days has caused the people to stay put in the village. Along with the support of experts from the Ministry of Agriculture, wise means of cultivating land is a tradition in the village. This started during the Italian colonization and is still going on in a promising way. Overall achievement of the village is ensured by the community’s unity. The administration promotes unity as part of the national development. Inhabitants of Adi Lamza advise communities to follow in their footsteps and develop their villages and, hence, the country.