Let’s go to Durfo

……………the following is a continuation of the article posted the previous week.

I don’t know now but during the good old days, all over the riverbeds and throughout the river banks there used to be a lot of shady fig trees. They were so big, with lots of branches, and wide leaves. They invite all kinds of people to sleep, make social gatherings, and meetings in their shade. For boys like me climbing on such trees was fun.

The fig trees produced edible fruit; I tried them once or twice but I can’t say I liked the taste of it; I mean it didn’t taste sweet like Beles. It is nature’s open handedness, or to be more specific, the fig tree’s generosity one should see when the fruits dropped on the ground willingly. They fertilized the soil and were food for the insects which swarm all over your body when you sleep thinking that you had found shady place.

Birds like horn-bill (Kutu) also used to choose to dig out homes in the stems of these trees. One reason for this could be because they found out its stems to be not as hard to crack as the woods of the other trees like eucalyptus (Qelamitos). These cosmopolitan fig trees catered the birds with a menu of all types of insects which is why the birds never seemed to want to fly away at any condition.

The riverbeds in Durfo were very narrow, perfectly designed only to allow the flow of spring waters. The monkeys I mentioned used to descend from the high mountains to the bottom to drink water from the spring waters. To say ‘the riverbeds now have widened and the spring waters which quenched the thirst of every living creature dried’ must be an over-statement some negatively captivated persons came up with to portray ugliness. Well if I am to believe I should see firsthand and live it.

To try to convince me what would be added is that, “Look, had the streams been still flowing, the farmers there, who are doing these encouraging agricultural activities, would not consume their energy to dig out wells. They would not need to buy water pumps of the high heads either.” It makes sense and assuming all the rumors as true, I wonder from where the wild animals fulfill their thirst now. The monkeys which are seen to spend time in places they should not be must be resilient then for they have not abandoned the place.

Of course the government of Eritrea has reserved/restricted Semienawi Bahri, Durfo included, in order to be a national park. Trees and wild animals are being looked after. And there is even hope that a dam which conserves the water and soil resources to be built in a strategic part of the allegedly “dried, wide riverbed”. The role of the farmers should not be put aside as well for they put, according to the reports of the media outlets, the best of their efforts by planting trees and by terracing the mountains from the bottom up. So all these greening campaigns, are they supposed to entail the place has lost its beauty?

I respect the fact that there is threatening anger of mother-nature all around the globe. And I don’t want to deny nowadays there are so many places in the world which once had been home for massive ecosystems that now face the danger of being lost. I still agree that there are many young people in the world that once used to go to Durfo-like places every summer but now they don’t haste to visit anymore. To make a long story short, I’ve been reluctant to go to Durfo because of the rumors which resemble the guy who, out of a good intention, once thwarted me from taking my friends to Durfo. And just now I’ve made up my mind to go there to find out for myself. If you don’t hear from me soon, consider it that I am immersed in Durfo’s joie de vivre.



Written by Aron Tesfa-alem

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *