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Tag: Environment

Consideration of Environmental Sustainability in Eritrea

Environmental sustainability is a critical component in any national development plan. In the past however it has been derided as a luxury, especially by the energy sector. As we see the consequences of the centuries of these damaging policies however, we must change course, to the hard course.

Although it is true that generally speaking, non-polluting forms of energy production are more expensive, when taking into account the cost of climate change, it not only comes out in the wash, but is likely to be advantageous, particularly for coastal and low-lying nations. Eritrea is a country that is has been dwelling this conundrum since independence.

We will reclaim our land!

Further liberal policies from the Eritrean Government. Yesterday the Eritrean President, flanked by his Minister of Agriculture, Mr. Arefaine Berhe, stressed the necessity for reforestation in Eritrea.

It is to be remembered that Eritrea was once covered (up to 30% before the turn of the last century by some estimates) with forested land. It was only the upsurge in population and conflict through the Ethiopian Occupation that lead to the current 1% figure touted in Government and International estimates.

Toker Revisited

Toker Dam is protected by a detachment of the EDF. In their free time they attend a high school for combatants. Today they were all on station for guard duty. When we stopped to ask how much the level of water had risen some said as much as 7 metres while another suggested even 10 metres.

Well we continued down the Pump Station Road to see for ourselves. The road is bumpy (like most in Eritrea) but what was worse is that there weren’t any guard rails on this very narrow, very steep road. But once we caught a glimpse of the reservoir we knew it was worth it. From the concrete face of the dam back towards the rear of the reservoir, hundreds of thousands of litres of grey-blue water.

Toker Dam in August

Trip to Fil-Fil

On the way to the project site in the Fil-Fil National Park I learned a little bit about the project. The road, which begins in Asmara and ends at the intersection of the Afabet-Ghatelay highway is a road designed only for tourist adventures. Because of this, as close to zero impact construction methods are being utilized as much as possible. Interestingly, before we arrived at the site (a half hour out of Ghatelay) we passed what seemed to be an oasis in the sun-parched plain.

It was the home of a Warsay-Yikalo division practicing desert farming. This oasis used the water from a river that would be dumped into the Red Sea to water crops. Surely this same method could be copied throughout the plain (with significant investment of course). Further up the road of course was the Fil-fil National Park.

Desert Oasis