Eritrea: Alebu General Metal Workshop

The development of water resources for agriculture has been one of the major achievements that have started to impact agro-industrial development in Eritrea. This has been made possible through the development of efficient irrigation systems and water distribution facilities. To make these endeavors sustainable, an effective technical support is needed, and for this reason, Alebu General Metal Workshop was established in 2014. The workshop, which started its operation by recruiting graduates of vocational schools, makes spare parts and modifies tools used in farms and vehicles.

Since its establishment, Alebu General Metal Workshop has been producing spare parts and other gadgets for farms, construction works and transportation facilities that have been flourishing in the Gash-Barka and other regions of the country. Although the primary objective of the factory is to produce spare parts and carry out innovative works that are needed for the enhancement of irrigation systems and major development undertakings in the Alebu sub-zone, dairy farms at Fesko, Fanko, Aligidir, Kerkebet, Afhimbol and Halhale as well as other farms across the country have been accessing the services provided by the workshop.

The production capacity and product lines of Alebu General Metal Workshop have increased with the introduction of modern machines that could be used in the construction, transportation and farm sectors. Alebu General Metal Workshop produces spare parts for food processing plants and makes floating water pumps used in irrigation systems at Kerkebet, Fesko, Elabered and Aligidir farms. It also engages in modification works on vehicles that give transportation services in the Gash-Barka region.

Employees of the metal workshop also give maintenance services in all farms operated by Eritrea's Crops and Livestock Corporation (ECLC). The manufacturing of floating pumps, that have 18 to 500 kW capacity, is a major achievement that contributed toward an efficient distribution of water to the farms, which has also been instrumental in extending the lifespan of the pumps.

The fact that Alebu General Metal Workshop is located near Alebu Banatom Factory, a food processing plant, makes it easy for the factory to get supplies of spare parts and technical assistance from the workshop to deal with operational challenges it may encounter. An animal feed processing plant in Alebu sub-zone has also benefitted from the technical support given by the metal workshop.

According to Mr. Aman Tekie, head of Alebu General Metal Workshop at ECLC, all maintenance works and supply of spare parts for the factories have been made available locally at the workshop, and only spare parts for the vacuum pump are being imported.

The metal workshop provides jobs for graduates of mechanical engineering and other professionals from institutions of higher education and vocational training centers across the country. Asmerom Yohannes, a staff member of this ever flourishing workshop, graduated from Asmara Technical School, worked in Sawa for six years and then worked in the Gash-Barka region in 2013 before he joined Alebu General Metal Workshop in 2014. Asmerom and his colleagues have been transferring their know-how to the newly assigned graduates.

One of the main objectives of Alebu General Metal Workshop is empowering the youth through human resource development programs that could play a decisive role in the country's development undertakings. To this end, it has been recruiting graduates from all Eritrean ethnic groups that graduated from vocational training centers across the country and created an environment that allows the young graduates to develop professionally.

Mr. Aman said the workshop offers practical courses to boost the confidence of the newly recruited graduates and added that recently over 500 graduates from vocational training centers across the country have been given training so that they could be armed with practical skills. "The workshop is like a research center where the trainees have to demonstrate their excellence through successfully implementing project assignments such as the production of farm equipment, including spare parts for tractors, floating pumps, water tanks, as well as the maintenance of vehicles," Mr. Aman elaborated.

Mr. Aman finally said that the renovation, modification and production of vehicles' parts have been intensified and added that their plan is to produce more equipment for local use in farms and construction works and to be exported.

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