Tragedies and Never-Ending Problems of the People Continue in Erob Woreda, Tigray, Ethiopia
First, here at IRROB.org, we would like to express our deepest sorrow and words of consolations to the mournful Irob families who lost their loved ones as well as to the entire Irob people who have been deeply affected by losing their relatives and friends in a terrible transportation-vehicle-accident occurred on May 31, 2014 in the Irob Woreda, located in the northeastern Tigray, Ethiopia. According to the various source of information received through mobile phone-calls, an Isuzu truck carrying some grain or commodities from the marketplace and overcrowded number of people (30-40) was heading towards Aiga when it rolled backward unable to climb up the dusty-hill-road ending up in a disastrous-down-hill cliffs along with the overcrowded passengers causing horrific fatalities of 11 people and serious injuries to other survivors.
Second, certainly such accidents can happen anywhere in the world, but some can be very much enraged when such human fatalities happen due to human negligence and lack of responsibility of the vehicles’ owners and lack of rule-of-law in the country that should be concerned for the safety of the public citizens or passengers… It’s simply outrageous so many people to perish by illegally carrying and loading on such kinds of small vehicles loaded with goods and carrying in addition on the top of it over-limit crowds endangering carelessly their lives for their greedy-money-making business!
Third, in Irob Woreda, such vehicle accident incidents were not the first time to happen: there had been occurring few times but the local and federal government authorities had not been paying due attention to reduce from happening such accidents that had been causing loss of many lives. The government must have some transportation rules and regulations enforced to protect the passengers’ lives – vehicles not to carry beyond their size and limits so that the drivers of the vehicles do not endanger their own lives and the lives of passengers. The government must provide to the desperate poor people who lack transportation system with more adequate transportation means so that travelling people are not tempted to take any available means just to endanger their own lives in such tragic accidents.
Forth, roads to and/or in Irob Woreda are extremely dangerous dusty roads that can impede/impair visibility because of heavy clouds of dust blown by the wind in winding roads in hills, mountains and valleys – where drivers could not easily control their vehicles that might end up sliding into cliffs causing human fatalities. The Federal Government or Regional (killil) Government should seriously consider improving the transportation system and the main roads by upgrading and paving them with asphalt or concrete especially the ones heavy military vehicles, buses, and other private cars or trucks use frequently (especially from Adigrat or Zalanbessa to Dawhan, Alitiena, Aiga, etc.).
Compared to all the developments and road-improvements that are taking place today in various woredas in modern Ethiopia, Erob Woreda – as it seems to us – is not receiving equitable and fair attention from the governmental side: Even though Erob Woreda has been for more than a half of a century drought-stricken and poverty-ridden due to the irregularity of rainy-seasons and the scarcity of rain as well as lack of sufficient potable water or water for irrigation of those few arable lands available, we believe that the Woreda has NOT been given adequate attention to solve its acute developmental and economic needs/problems!
Fifth, Irob people had also been victims of war with Eritrea from 1998-2000 who were forced – against their will – to be uprooted and exiled from their native villages and tabias losing their meager properties and livestock to the invading and occupying forces and later experiencing post-war traumas that have been causing them all sorts of negative societal problems and crises since then: As a matter of fact, social ills – such as sexual promiscuity with soldiers, prostitution, moral decay, the endemic HIV/AIDS problems, alcoholism, growing crimes (especially Dawhan , a small administrative town of Irob , that has become the first place for crime/homicide in the whole country), corruptions, and so on – are overwhelmingly common and have become beyond control according to the inhabitants’ views!
Sixth, due to the unresolved political problems with the neighboring Eritrea, Erob Woreda since 1998 has been militarized zone and as a consequence younger females have been victims of sexual abuses or enticed to prostitution and all kinds of sexual harassment and sexual misbehavior with military for economic survivals or otherwise forced to totally leave the area and go into exiles to foreign countries, such as Arab countries or the Middle East where end up being abused by smugglers and employers.
Seventh, according to many Irobs’ view, the quality of education system in Irob Woreda has been deteriorated especially since the war that young Irobs have lost ambition of getting educated but instead what they entertain in their minds or think is how to emigrate from and disappear from their native places in search of better life or economic survivals hoping they could improve their own and their families’ lives. Because of such socio-economic problems, not many Irob students are pursuing higher education or achieving higher level of education or professional status compared to other Ethiopian populations nowadays. Due to the severity of their poverty and lack of available developmental and quality educational opportunities in their immediate woreda , their future dreams and ambitions have been so low except longing to going in exodus to some foreign and unknown countries with no job or linguistic skills just to take a risky venture into the unknown as an alternative choice for better or for worse…! And when they get there, they end up in a demoralizing menial hard labors with no education or self-improvement opportunities except to enslave themselves for a day-to-day survivals, if they’re lucky enough! In other words, Irob people are losing many young generation whose brains are being wasted without proper and necessary education in the countries of their exile!
Eighth, we ask the Regional State of Tirgray and the Federal Government of Ethiopia to seriously take into their considerations the existential difficulties – due to their persistent poverty and economic hardships – of the people of Erob Woreda (probably the poorest woreda in the entire country) to intensify the rehabilitation of the woreda through a meaningful and committed developmental efforts that are free of corruptions and mismanagement of national provisions and local resources; free of power abuses of the local authorities; as well as by enforcing border-security’s military’s moral disciplines and behaviors that would not endanger but rather safeguard all young female students to be able feel secure and safe from all sexual abuses and harassments from those irresponsible soldiers, so that they are able to attend schools with a peace of mind, without worrying of rapes or related sexually transmitted diseases that would threaten and ruin their lives!
Ninth, we request both the Regional State of Tigray and the Federal Government of Ethiopia, as quickly as possible to explore all the possible natural resources in the Erob Woreda and to exploit them in order to quickly solve the persistent poverty-problems of the inhabitants and to keep the misinformed and restless young generations of the woreda from emigrating to foreign countries just to waste their lives and their potentials in unknown futures and disillusions. We ask both the Regional and the Federal Governments to have the good will to change the chronic economic conditions of the Irob people who suffered for so long due to man-made and nature-caused hardships and problems so that they can have full confidence and trust in their ruling government and their country!
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