Building a network of infrastructures, particularly a network of roads, across the nation influences various development programs. Construction of strategic or feeder roads is highly rewarding particularly in improving the living standards of society.
Newly constructed roads play significant role in alleviating poverty and in narrowing gaps between rural and urban areas. The renovation and expansion tasks being carried out in Tsaeda-Kristian — Adi-Neamin route has, for instance, made it easy for people and goods to be transported. Harat Transport Company has now started to give public transport service to the area. Heavy trucks have also been easily making their way from and to the area that connects the Central and the Gash-Barka regions.
According to Col. Berhane Elias, coordinator of the construction works of Tsaeda-Kristian and Adi-Neamin route, the road is 42 kilometers long connecting Berik sub-zone in Maekel region and Logo-Anseba sub-zone in Gash- Barka region. The route connects the villages of Adi-Kuntsi, Adi- Ya’ekob, Hazega, Adi-Bidel, Godagudi and Adi-Neamin. Other villages around the route have also become beneficiaries of the transportation service being offered.
A large segment of the people who live across the route are benefiting from the socio-economic development in the area. The residents have not only been transporting goods but the people-to-people connection is being strengthened. They have been exchanging commodities and other resources through the already flouring markets. Since the area is known for fruit and vegetable farming, the existence of very well paved road networks and effective transportation service is making a difference in the development of trade activities. The renovation activity will also enable the farmers of the area to distribute their farm produce to the markets of Asmara.
The area is also known for its granite and marvel stone resources, said Col. Berhane. The residents of the area have now started to make use of these natural resources.
The Government of Eritrea has a far sighted vision in carrying out the road renovation work. Besides providing an easy access to transportation service, operators of various heavy machineries are also gaining experiences by participating in the construction and renovation of the strategic road. The road expansion and renovation effort is meeting two envisaged goals of providing efficient social service as well as the realization of human resource development.
The road used to be very narrow and was creating difficulties in the transportation service. The route that passes through Adi-Bidel — Anseba River is mountainous, making it necessary to construct bridges and canals that is underway. “Once the roads are constructed and renovated the ownership is of the people of the area and we are glad for that,” said Col. Berhane.
Mr. Berhane Haile, a technical manager in charge of the machineries being used in the road construction, said, “We have sufficient number of machineries and also well experienced operators. The availability of the heavy machineries and determination of the young operators is the reason for the satisfactory work accomplishment.” Four excavators, three loaders, two graders, three rollers and 10 heavy trucks have been used in the construction works.
Mr. Berhane further elaborated that over 90% of the work is being accomplished by the young graduates from Adi-Halo Vocational Training Center. They have been demonstrating remarkable excellence in all work areas including very dangerous steep cliffs. The young operators have the resilience to surmount even what seems impossible.
The route was very narrow and difficult for heavy trucks to pass through. “These determined youth have, however, paved it and I now call it not a road but a runway,” Mr. Berhane lauded the strenuous efforts of the youth.
Mr. Berhane has worked for 40 years as grader operator. Comparing his experience to the training opportunities the youth are being offered, he said that the young operators are fortunate to have an easy access to the ample opportunities for training. They have been trained using modern and up-to-date machineries. It is quite impressive to see the students being trained by well experienced operators. This opportunity has granted them a chance to boost their confidence and to upgrade their skills to a higher level of excellence.
Tedros Kbrom, 24 years of age, is an operator of an excavator. After graduating at a certificate level from Adi-Halo, he worked in the road construction. He said, “The senior and well experienced operators have enabled us to reach this level of achievement.” He added, “They have taught us not only how to operate but also how to maintain the machineries.”
All the young operators are very keen to learn new techniques and to upgrade their skills through practical works, and this is what they have been doing in the work areas they are engaged in. They collectively said, “We have been trained well and are making efforts to upgrade our skills and creativity so as to reach a higher level of achievement.” The training the Government provided us using very modern machineries is exceptional, and we are shouldering double responsibility to serve our people and Government, they reiterated.
The residents of the area are expected to participate in the renovation and expansion of the road. In this regard, Col. Berhane said that the people of the area have been providing food and drinks to the workers. They have always been ready to play their role in facilitating the construction and preserving the already accomplished tasks.
So far students in the areas have started to ride bicycles because of the availability of smooth roads. This development has enabled the students to safely and speedily travel from Adi-Bidel to Hazega for schooling. The people used to travel goods through pack animals but they are now transporting goods through the services being offered by Harat Transport Company.
An expansion and upgrading of narrow bridges around Dem- Sebay and Anesba River are some of the future plans. Once the study is completed, the expansion task will soon start, Col. Berhane said.
The coordinator of Tsaeda Kristian – Adi Neamin route finally said, “We are making efforts to make a difference. So far, we have provided preliminary transportation facilities and we are now looking forward to upgrading the route to make it viable for heavy trucks.”