Eritrea: Mogolo and its improved social services


The Mogolo subzone, which borders Mensura, Shambuqo, Gogne, Akordat and Barentu, is located in the Gash Barka region, on the road between Barentu, the region’s capital, and Akordat. There are 23 villages under 13 administrative zones in the sub-zone. The inhabitants of the sub-zone are predominantly farmers, while some are engaged in trade and crafts. The inhabitants of the subzone are mainly from three ethnic groups – Nara, Tigre and Tigrigna.

Mogolo is located along the main road near Akordat and Barentu, shopping centers. It is a paradise for customers, a resting place for travelers to and from Gash Barka. When we reached the sub-area it was evident that travelers were relaxing there because before you could see the residential houses you see fast food places and restaurants made from rattan sticks which appear to be the face of the subarea.

Early in the morning, owners spray the floors of their restaurants with cold water and sweep it to keep the night cool as the scorching sun approaches the subarea. It seemed to me at first that the restaurants were dormant, but then, as it approached midday, the drivers and businessmen started pouring into the roads and the restaurants were full in one. no time. One of the deep markers of the sub-zone is the production and distribution of traditional straw crafts. Mats, brooms, discs, used to pull the jera (a traditional Tigrigna food), fans, baskets and many other accessories are made in the sub-area and sold throughout the country.

The Mogolo subzone is also known for its distinctive lack of crime, particularly theft. From the informal conversations we have had with the inhabitants of the sub-area, people can leave their property anywhere in the sub-area and come back to pick it up at any time later to find it. in one of the restaurants or at the police station.

Mogolo Market Day is Tuesday and this is when businessmen from all over the country come together to buy local Mogolo products and sell other products. It is home to people who travel from different parts of Eritrea.

Social services in the Mogolo subzone are no different from services in other subzones in Eritrea. For example, the health system in Mogolo has a health center and two health posts. The most remote village in the sub-zone, 35 km from the town of Mogolo, has access to health care through the use of ambulances. However, due to Mogolo’s proximity to Akordat and Barentu, some people are better off to obtain services at facilities in both cities. Mogolo health facilities serve around 23,000 people.

The services provided by the health system in the subzone have improved over the years in terms of personnel and equipment, although gaps would persist.

The most common and serious diseases in the subzone are malaria, syphilis and gonorrhea. These are health issues that can be treated primarily by educating people. This is why the Ministry of Health (MoH) of the subzone conducts continuous awareness campaigns which mainly focus on prevention. As a result, said Mr. Merhawi Teklemichael, responsible for health care in the subzone, people are increasingly aware of the merits of health care.

In addition, female genital mutilation (FGM) and underage marriage are two of the main campaign topics the sub-zone is focusing on. Although people’s attitudes towards the two practices are somewhat changing, FGM and underage marriage is still practiced in Mogolo.

Campaigns have also played an important role in efforts to end open defecation. Out of 23 villages, 21 declared open defecation (ODF), 91.3% of villages, while the remaining two villages are working on it.

Mr. Merhawi said: “We work hard on antenatal and antenatal care, childbirth and immunization because we believe they are the most basic and important health needs of a society. Therefore, safe childbirth and appropriate maternal health care are heavily invested. in this sub-area. “There are two large waiting rooms, which Mr. Merhawi claims are the best in the entire health center. The waiting rooms can accommodate 20 women at a time. tradition is very common in the Mogolo sub-zone, the percentage of women who give birth in health establishments with professional assistance has increased from 25% in 2019 to 61% in 2020. In addition, the center is equipped with a laboratory, pharmacy, hospitalization and outpatient services and exclusive tuberculosis and HIV clinics.

All administrative areas in the Mogolo sub-area have schools, but middle and high schools are only found in the town of Mogolo. According to the administrator of the sub-zone, Mr. Abraham Kidane, much of society is not an active participant in education, “yet this is one of the segments on which the administration collaborates. with the relevant agencies is working on. ”He added that people are well aware in some places while others are far from sending their children to school. Education authorities attribute the problem to the economic activities of the population.

Since the main economic activity in the sub-area is agriculture, there are full-time farmers who mainly grow food during the rainy season in summer. This year, around 8,000 hectares of land have been cultivated. The MoA is committed to helping local farmers by providing them with training, selected seeds, fertilizers and pest control tools. Millet and sorghum are two of the most common crops in the sub-zone.

Most of the villages in the Mogolo sub-area have access to the mobile network while there is no designated transport service. Electricity, as in many areas around Barentu, is shared from Barentu by shifts.

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