REMAH Valley: Natural Environment with Economic Outcome [Archives:2001/27/Business & Economy]

July 2 2001

Yassin Al-Tamimis
The range of western mountains is one of the wonderful signs of geological formation in Yemen . This range is very important from the natural point of view as has the second waterfall after Hadhramaut Hill. But it is the first to receive an annual average rainfall of about 1000mm. This gives it a strategic importance since more than seven large valleys descend from this mountain range. The most important of these valleys is Mour valley – the western gutter of Yemen, then Seham, Zabid, Remah, Sordod and Rissian. These valleys are sequenced according to their importance. These valleys exemplify
a natural conglomeration of animal and botanical diversity. They are also covered with a permanent green cover of consisting of various trees and crops throughout the year. This range varies in height from Tehama Plain in the west to the Middle Plains and from these mountains many sub valleys and streams descend which form the main valleys. This range has a rich diversity of flora and fauna.
REMAH Valley : about 2500 m2
It’s a good advantage point for calculating the magnitude of the western mountains. Despite its being at the midpoint among the valleys, it has the distinctive feature of having a perennial stream along its main canal in TEHAMA Plain. It is also conspicuous by its fertile soil and the number of plateaus which spread across many districts such as BILLAD AROUS, DHAORAN, ANES, ASHARG MOUNTAIN, MAGREB ANS, UTOMAH, ASALAFIA, KUSMA, WESAB AL ALI, and WESAB ASAFFEL.
Vital variety
The valley has another feature of having vegetation throughout the year due to the availability of a perennial stream. But the arable land is limited since the valley is narrow as the other valleys in the west.
In regard to the fruits and vegetables of higher bread, banana comes in the first rank for its high quality and good harvest which a part from fulfilling the local needs are exported as well. Besides banana there are other varieties of fruits such as papaya ( sham grapes ), mango and palms. In addition to these there are the screw pine trees which fill the valley with a nice fragrance and are used for social occasions in the valley. Moreover, these trees are a good means for the protection the arable lands against floods. There are many species of birds living in the valley throughout the year such as Water King as it is called in the valley. These species depend mainly on fish which is so plenty available in the valley and people depend on it as a favorite food. Above all there are many species of animals in the valley such as sheep, goats, cows and camels.
IBEX Environment
The diversity of the valley’s ecology gave ibex a suitable and unique environment to sustain itself for centuries until it became extinct in the beginning of the 80s of the last century as a result of the devastating fire list by the hunters and poachers. There are many signs that this animal survived for so many centuries because of a natural habitat. It was used as a precious sacrifice for the Gods by ancient Yemenis. And after the dawn of Islam it ceased to be an easy prey. However, its delicious meat led many people to follow it over the rugged descents.
The habitat of this extinct species which is also known as the wild He-goat was the target of many teams of experts from the Center for Cultivating Unique Animals in Ashareka. This team was headed by Mr. Naji Thoabah the Chairman of the Natural Resources and Researches in the council. Mr. Peter Rait was the representative of the center which undertook the survey in collaboration with ADHABARA Association in Kusma district. The visit lasted two days and it was a good chance for exploring the environment in which the rarer species ibex lived. As the inhabitants of that region said there were a large number of this animal in this valley before 20 years. Moreover, there are signs of the holy place the Ibex enjoyed as evident from its horns hung in houses as an auspicious omen to discard any evil spell.
People there also narrated the story of Ashiakh Hidarah Al-Afif who tried to stop hunting this animal and who succeeded to some extent but after some time the situation became as before. During the visit of the team to this district along with Ashiakh Ali Mahdi Adhubarah the Chairman of the Association the possibility of reviving the species again in this area due to its congenial environment was explored.
Mr. Naji Thwabah stated that in view of these factors, the council can announce the district of “ADHABARAH” as a natural sanctuary. This is of course with the collaboration of the native population after carrying out the necessary survey on the quality of the biological diversity and after demarcation of the borders as well as defining limits for human colonies.
To Mr. Peter Rite, a specialist in the Environment Studies, the signs are encouraging for launching this project as an ideal example which may eventually lead to expand the protectorate to include new areas in all directions, especially those which share the same geological formation and biological environment as ADHABARAH.
As experts opined Ibex has a striking resemblance with some other different kinds of goats in the area in terms of color spots on the body. On the other hand there was another kind of wild animals which was known as “Mountain Gazelle” but regrettably it also met the same destiny as Ibex.
However, the experts in the Council for the Protection of Environment realized that the circumstances are suitable to breed and revive this mountain gazelle along with Ibex again. To the people of the district this project is a dream they are looking forward to come true. In other words, they are so enthusiastic to carry out this project as soon as possible. This is for the sake of the protection of the extinct animal species still living in district against any atrocious actions. This enthusiasm clearly reflected on their faces during their discussions with the experts of the council.