Gash Barka Eritrea
With an area of 37,000 square kilometers and a population of
600,000, the Gash Barka region makes up roughly one-third of
Eritrea. Two seasonal rivers, the Gash which marks a geographical border between Eritrea and Ethiopia
and the Barka river, cross the region.
Gash Barka is one of the richest zones in ethnic diversity:
all except one of Eritrea's nationalities inhabit this zone: Kunama, Nara,
Hedareb, Tigre, Tigrinya, Saho, Bilen and Rashaida live in this region. Barentu,
Agordat en Tessenei are its largest towns. Barentu hosts the regional
The Gash Barka region is part of the Sudano-Sahelian agroclimatic zone and it is said to be the breadbasket of Eritrea. The region is very rich in agriculture. A variety of crops, fruits and vegetables grow in
in the Gash Barka region, including millet, sesame, cotton, banana, tomato, onions, green pepper, sweet melon etc. The soil is very fertile.
There are over 3.5 million livestock in the region. There is also a large expanse of land covered with gum
Also, the region is rich in different kinds of marbles and has very high mineral prospects including
gold. In Augaro there are some old mineshafts and machinery from the days when
the Italians mined gold here.
The economic value of the region is one of the obvious reasons why famine
wrecked neighbor Ethiopia, ruled by the separatist TPLF regime, occupied the
region during the 1997-2000 war.
During this invasion the TPLF regime killed many innocent people while
destroying and looting public and private properties and livestock.
Women resting in the shade of a tree near Agordat.
Camels resting in the sun in Agordat.
Dry riverbed crossing the Barentu - Agordat road.
The Barka river passing Agordat (dry season).
Image of Barentu in the heart of the Kunama territory.