Sodo is one of the 77 woredas in the Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples' Region of Ethiopia. Part of the Gurage Zone, Sodo is bordered on the south by Meskanena Mareko, and on the west, north and east by the Oromia Region. The administrative center of Sodo is Bue; other towns include Kela.
Landmarks in this woreda include Medrekebd Abo monastery, which is located 22 kilometers from Bue. This 15th century monastery is a burial place of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church martyr, Abuna Gabra Manfas Qeddus. Although the relics of the monastery were taken to an island in Lake Ziway where they escaped the destruction of Imam Ahmed Gragn in the 16th century, the monastery itself was looted by the Italians during their occupation. Another local landmark are the Geyet Gereno Stelae, a complex of about 100 stones located 14 kilometers from Bue with similarities to the stelae field in Tiya, which is also located in this woreda.
In the early 1990s, during the period of the Transitional Government, under the influence of the Sodd Jida Democratic Action Group a group of kebeles in Sodo chose through referendum to unite with the Oromia Region. This led to an angry population in Sodo to create its own opposition organization.
Based on figures published by the Central Statistical Agency in 2005, this woreda has an estimated total population of 155,055, of whom 77,428 were males and 77,627 were females; 11,332 or 7.31% of its population are urban dwellers, which is greater than the Zone average of 6.3%. With an estimated area of 830.63 square kilometers, Sodo has an estimated population density of 186.7 people per square kilometer, which is less than the Zone average of 278.3.
The 1994 national census reported a total population for this woreda of 108,280 of whom 54,308 were males and 53,972 were females; 6,253 or 5.77% of its population were urban dwellers. The three largest ethnic groups reported in Sodo were the Sodo Gurage (85.25%), the Oromo (11.58%), and the Amhara (1.47%); all other ethnic groups made up 1.7% of the population. Soddo Gurage is spoken as a first language by 91.06%, 5.17% speak Oromiffo, and 2.54% speak Amharic; the remaining 1.23% spoke all other primary languages reported. Ethiopian Orthodox Christianity was practiced by 96.74% of the population, and 2.28% said they were Muslim. Concerning education, 21.48% of the population were considered literate, which is more than the Zone average of 20.62%; 5.66% of children aged 7-12 were in primary school, 0.49% of the children aged 13-14 were in junior secondary school, and 1.62% of the inhabitants aged 15-18 were in senior secondary school. Concerning sanitary conditions, 82.24% of the urban houses and 12.45% of all houses had access to safe drinking water at the time of the census; 25.15% of the urban and 3.15% of all houses had toilet facilities.
- "Tourisms", Gurage Zone Government website (accessed 11 August 2009)
- Sarah Vaughan, "Ethnicity and Power in Ethiopia" (University of Edinburgh: Ph.D. Thesis, 2003), pp. 262f
- CSA 2005 National Statistics, Tables B.3 and B.4
- 1994 Population and Housing Census of Ethiopia: Results for Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples' Region, Vol. 1, part 1, Tables 2.1, 2.12, 2.14, 2.19 (accessed 30 December 2008)
- 1994 Population and Housing Census of Ethiopia, Vol. 1, part 2, Tables 3.5, 3.7 (accessed 30 December 2008)
- 1994 Population and Housing Census of Ethiopia, Vol. 1, part 4, Tables 6.11, 6.13 (accessed 30 December 2008)
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