Isara Tocha is one of the 77 woredas in the Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples' Region of Ethiopia. Part of the Dawro Zone, Isara Tocha is bordered on the south by the Omo River which separates this woreda from the Gamo Gofa Zone, on the west by the Konta special woreda, on the north by the Gojeb River which separates it from the Oromia Region, on the east by Mareka Gena, and on the southeast by Loma Bosa. Towns in Isara Tocha include Bale and Tocha.
Isara Tocha is part of a region characterized by hills, and is not suitable for grazing or cultivation, but farmers cultivate the sloping land, leading to erosion and reduced soil fertility. Important food crops in this woreda include enset, sweet potatoes, taro and beans, while important cash crops are maize, teff and pulses.
Isara Tocha was selected by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development in 2004 as one of several woredas for voluntary resettlement for farmers from overpopulated areas, becoming the new home for a total of 6800 heads of households and 26,640 total family members.
Based on figures published by the Central Statistical Agency in 2005, this woreda has an estimated total population of 131,553, of whom 67,555 were men and 63,998 were women; 4,556 or 3.46% of its population are urban dwellers, which is less than the Zone average of 8.5%. With an estimated area of 1,838.60 square kilometers, Isara Tocha has an estimated population density of 71.6 people per square kilometer, which is less than the Zone average of 156.5.
The 1994 national census reported a total population for this woreda of 92,667 of whom 45,109 were males and 47,558 were females; 2,514 or 2.71% of its population were urban dwellers. The four largest ethnic groups reported in Isara Tocha were the Kullo (93.36%), the Konta (3.33%), the Kaffa (1.53%), and the Amhara (1.19%); all other ethnic groups made up 0.59% of the population. Kullo is spoken as a first language by 94.38%, 3.15% Konta, and 1.82% speak Kafa; the remaining 0.65% spoke all other primary languages reported. However, Ralph Siebert's local research in 1995 led him to believe that this woreda was predominantly inhabited by the Dawro people.
Concerning religious beliefs, the 1994 census reported that 60.68% of the population said they observed traditional religions, 34.33% practiced Ethiopian Orthodox Christianity, and 4.55% were Protestants.
- "SNNPR Livelihood Profile: Dawro-Konta Maize and Root Crop Zone: June 2005", USAID/FEWSNET, p. 1 (accessed 11 January 2011)
- "Southern Nation, Nationalities and People’s Region, Ethiopia Livelihood Profiles: January 2006", USAID/FEWSNET, p. 25 (accessed 11 January 2011)
- "Resettlement 2004", Disaster Prevention and Preparedness Agency (DPPA) (accessed 26 November 2006)
- 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, 2.15, 2.19 (accessed 30 December 2008)
- Ralph Siebert, "Recent Developments Regarding Education Policy and Languages in the North Omo Administrative Region" SIL Electronic Survey Reports SILESR 2002-058