Eritrea Technical Exchange
Annual Report 2002

This is an annual report for the Eritrea Technical Exchange Project of the International Collaborative for Science, Education and the Environment (ETEP/ICSEE)



Masters Training

In summer 1999 an initial effort was made to develop a climate and resources masters training program in cooperation with San Jose State University (SJSU) Meteorology Department. This effort consisted of requesting applications from six candidates to the SJSU Met program. These applications where slowly but surely processed and in Fall of 2000 the first candidate, Mengsteab Habtegiorgis arrived. In the Fall of 2001 another four candidates arrived making a team of five climate and resources masters trainees. The additional four candidates are Bereket Lebassi, Tesfom Gebregiorgis, Tesfamichael Berhane, and Yonas Samuel.

In 2002, Mengsteab Habtegiorgis got an assistantship to examine and model the impacts of weather on distribution transformer efficiency. Meanwhile Bereket Lebassi had an assistantship first doing meteorological simulations for Mars using the Regional Atmospheric Modeling System (RAMS), and then beginning research an sea breeze return flows for Monterey California. All of the four new participants took courses in Dynamic, Physical and Boundary Layer meteorology and received A's and B's in their coursework.

The presence of the students at SJSU has been noted in a SJSU scient college publication:

UV Waterworks

For this project, ETE brought two UV water disinfection units, demonstrated the technology, and organized the implementation of two pilot projects in collaboration with the Department of Energy, the Department of Water Resources, the Ministry of Health, and the Central Zone Administration. The pilot projects are overseen by a technical committee with representatives of all of the concerned government agencies. The lead institution for the implementation of the pilot projects is the Department of Water Resources. A draft project document and project schedule has been prepared with commissioning and operation of the projects scheduled for May 1, 2003. Evaluation of the technology will be done on the basis of cost and the technology's ability to decontaminate water for village consumption based on monthly fecal coliform testing.

Stoves and Carbon Credits

Details of the monitoring and verification for carbon emissions reduction from improved biomass stoves were formulated in collaboration with the Department of Energy. Equations for the estimation of emissions reductions were agreed to, and a data collection process for monitoring emissions reductions was formulated. The monitoring data collection process includes household interviews of injera, qiCa, and fuel consumption. A interview form was produced and field tested in Adi Nefas.

Data that was provided included some efficiency test data, data from the Adi Nefas interviews, and summary results from the national energy end-use surveys.


Discussed the use of UniGeez in Eritrea with Fesahtsion Isaac of Tfanus enterprises. He says that UniGeez is the geez software that works best with Windows XP systems. His favorite font is the Geez Mahtem Unicode Font, while Ethiopian Jiret and GF Zemen Unicode also work. Problems with UniGeez include:

  1. There are mix-ups in the typing of different Geez characters with Italian and German keyboards.
  2. Conversion from Yada to Unicode has some problems especially with the [we] character. Unicode to Yada is OK, while Unicode to Geezgate, and both Yada and Geezgate to Unicode has a few problems.
  3. The right shift key apparently does not work on the U.S. keyboard. The software acts as if the transliterated character is unshifted when the Geez character is produced.
  4. Arabic has problems of some of the characters do not connect properly and the diacritic marks cause breaks in the Arabic script.
Fesahtsion also provided a copy of the UniGeez users manual that they provide for customers.


We describe the finances of Eritrea Technical Exchange Project in the tables below. The project began the year with a positive balance of nearly $16K, and then spent most of the available resources on supporting 5 Eritrean government staff who were training for a Masters in Meteorology at San Jose State University. The average expense per Masters candidate was less than $11K/year. This is because some of the program support was leveraged with some research assistant support for the students. Of the total of nearly $60K in expenses, only a little over 3% or $2K was spend on administration and overhead. In addition, a $3K project regarding ultraviolet water disinfection for rural Eritrean villages was initiated, with the primary expense being the disinfection equipment. The year ended with a deficit of less than $8K that was borrowed out of project reserves.

Table 1: Statement of Activities
Meteorology Postgraduate Training:
Living Expenses23,400.00
Tuition and Fees19,490.40
Other Expenses981.00
Water Projects
UV Water Disinfection Equipment2,985.00
Supporting Services:
Administration and Accounting2,150.00
Total Expenses:59,523.40


$10,000 - $20,000
The Craig Foundation
Robert Van Buskirk
$1000 - $10,000
Brian Hill
Douglas and Susan Linney Fund

End of Annual Report