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Dolo Odo (Somali: [Dooloow] error: {{lang}}: text has italic markup (help)) is one of the 47 woredas in the Somali Region of Ethiopia. Part of the Liben Zone, Dolo Odo is located in the angle formed by the confluence of the Ganale Dorya with the Dawa River, and bordered to the west by Moyale, to the northwest by Liben, on the north and east by Afder Zone, and on the south by Kenya. Towns in Dolo Odo include Bekol May, Dolo and Softu.

The altitude of this woreda ranges from 200 to 1000 meters above sea level. Other rivers in this woreda include the Mena. As of 2008, Dolo Odo has 120 kilometers of all-weather gravel road and 540 kilometers of community roads; about 58.8% of the total population has access to drinking water.[1]


Irrigation agriculture was introduced to the riverine inhabitants of this woreda by the Relief and Rehabilitation Commission (RRC) in the late 1970s. While the RRC encouraged this trend with the introduction of three irrigation pumps at selected points, a major impetus were local people who had fled to refugee camps in Somalia during the Ethiopian-Somali war, where they had the opportunity to acquire the basic skills and know-how of irrigation agriculture while participating in irrigation schemes in the Lower Juba River, and returning to Dolo Odo where they put their knowledge to use. These new skills have led to the arable lands on the dry riverbed and the flood plains, which used to be dry season grazing and farming areas for the Degodia and Garimarro, also becoming attractive to groups of newcomers, which has led to strife between the groups. Ahmed Ali Gedi has identified nine conflicts between Degodia sub-clans, who have traditionally had peaceful relations, which resulted in one or more casualties between 1997-2005. Furthermore, as the land between the flood plains and riverbanks, which was primarily basin woodlands and dry season pasturage, has been converted to commercial farming, this has caused deforestation and displacement of the original inhabitants.[2]

Both the Dawa and Ganale Dorya rivers overflowed their banks and flooded Dolo Odo in June, 2005. According to reports, six people died, irrigation pumps were swept away, and hundreds of livestock were drowned.[3]

Dolo Odo was one of the woredas heavily affected by the Ganale Dorya flooding in November 2008. At least 10,740 people reportedly were displaced, and roads from Dolo to Filtu and Negele Boran were blocked.[4]


Based on figures published by the Central Statistical Agency in 2005, this woreda has an estimated total population of 179,562, of whom 84,910 were men and 94,652 are women; 58,622 or 32.65% of its population are urban dwellers, which is more than the Zone average of 11.3%. Information is not available for the area of Dolo Odo, so its population density cannot be calculated.[5] A recent study categorized the woreda population as follows: 50% of the people are identified as agro-pastoralists, 30% as transhumant pastoralists, 15% as urban and 5% as sedentary farmers.[6] This woreda is primarily inhabited by the Degodia and Garre clans of the Somali people.

The 1997 national census reported a total population for this woreda of 138,412, of whom 73,678 were men and 64,734 were women; 39,301 or 28.39% of its population were urban dwellers. The largest ethnic group reported in Dolo Odo was the Somali 133,987 (96.8%).[7] There has been a 300% population increase in 1994 when compared with the recorded population of 44,520 in the 1984 census, and the forecasted figure for 2005 indicates that there would be a 415% increase by the year 2005. Population experts and local leaders attribute this population boom to a number of factors of which the primary one is the large returnee population from neighboring Somalia.[8]


A sample enumeration performed by the CSA in 2001 interviewed 8,437 farmers in this woreda, who held an average of 0.56 hectares of land. Of the 4,708 hectares of private land surveyed, 27.82% was under cultivation, 7.86% was pasture, 56.78% fallow, 1.06% woodland, and 3.31% was devoted to other uses; the area in woodland is missing. For the land surveyed in this woreda, 24.04% is planted in cereals like maize and sorghum, 1.98% in pulses, 0.53% in root crops, and 0.85% vegetables. Permanent crops included 146.06 hectares planted in fruit trees. 41.2% of the farmers both raise crops and livestock, while 3.35% only grow crops and 55.45% only raise livestock. Land tenure in this woreda was distributed amongst 85.89% owning their land, 3.1% renting, and the remaining 11% holding their land under other forms of tenure.[9]


  1. Hailu Ejara Kene, Baseline Survey of 55 Weredas of PCDP Phase II, Part I (Addis Ababa: August 2008), Annexes 16, 17
  2. Ahmed Ali Gedi, Herder-Farmer Conflicts in the Dawa-Ganale River Basin Area, p. 33, 44, 48
  3. "Relief Bulletin: 13 June 2005", UN-OCHA-Ethiopia (accessed 26 February 2009)
  4. "Ethiopia: Thousands displaced by floods in Somali region", IRIN (last accessed 8 December 2008)
  5. CSA 2005 National Statistics, Tables B.3 and B.4. Rural population numbers are believed to be underreported for this Region.
  6. Ahmed Ali Gedi, Herder-Farmer Conflicts, p. 27
  7. 1994 Population and Housing Census of Ethiopia: Results for Somali Region, Vol. 1 Tables 2.1, 2.12 (accessed 10 January 2009). The results of the 1994 census in the Somali Region were not satisfactory, so the census was repeated in 1997.
  8. Ahmed Ali Gedi, Herder-Farmer Conflicts, p. 37
  9. "Central Statistical Authority of Ethiopia. Agricultural Sample Survey (AgSE2001). Report on Area and Production - Somali Region. Version 1.1 - December 2007" (accessed 26 January 2009)

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