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Mao-Komo is one of the 21 woredas in the Benishangul-Gumuz Region of Ethiopia. Because it is not part of any Zone in Benishangul-Gumuz, it is considered a Special woreda, an administrative subdivision which is similar to an autonomous area.

This woreda is known under other names. In the administrative map of Benishangul-Gumaz printed by the Ethiopian Disaster Prevention and Preparedness Agency it is called Tongo;[1] the 1994 national census, and the later population estimates, of the Central Statistical Agency (CSA) call it Begi and include the woreda as part of the Asosa Zone.[2] However, in the list of second administrative level bodies maintained by the United Nations Geographic Information Working Group this woreda is called "Mao-Komo", and this usage is also observed in other publications.[3]

The southernmost woreda in the Region, Mao-Komo is bordered on the west by Sudan, on the north by the Asosa Zone, and on the east and south by the Oromia Region. Towns in this woreda include Tongo and it has a weekly market.

The region and its inhabitants were described by the Dutch explorer Juan Maria Schuver, who travelled to the area in 1880-1883.[4]


Based on figures from the Central Statistical Agency (CSA) in 2005, this woreda has an estimated total population of 18,668, of whom 9,110 are men and 9,558 are women. With an estimated area of 1,792.66 square kilometers, Mao-Komo has a population density of 10.4 people per square kilometer which is less than the Zone average of 19.95.[5]

The 1994 national census reported a total population for this woreda of 14,071 in 3,086 households, of whom 6,899 were men and 7,172 were women; no urban dwellers were recorded. The six largest ethnic groups reported in Mao-Komo were the Oromo (52%), the Fadashi (21.4%), the Berta (12%), the Mao (8%), the Kwama (5%) and the Gumuz (0.7%); all other ethnic groups made up 0.9% of the population. Oromiffa is spoken as a first language by 58%, 29% speak Fadashi, 6% speak Mao one of the northern group of Omotic languages, 5% Kwama, 1% Berta, and 0.7% speak Gumuz; the remaining 0.3% spoke all other primary languages reported. The majority of the inhabitants were Muslim, with 95.6% of the population reporting the followed that religion, while 4% observed Ethiopian Orthodox Christianity.[6] The Oromo, who arrived to the area in the 18th and 19th century, tend to live in the highlands, whereas the Nilo-Saharan communities (Kwama, Gwama, Mao, Ganza) usually occupy the lowland savannas.

Concerning education, 0.89% of the population were considered literate; a negligible number of children aged 7-12 were in primary school as well as children aged 13-14 in junior secondary school, while none of the inhabitants aged 15-18 were in senior secondary school. Concerning sanitary conditions, 6.6% of all houses had access to safe drinking water, and 2.7% had toilet facilities at the time of the census.[7]


  1. Map of Somali Region at UN-OCHA (PDF file)
  2. 1994 Population and Housing Census of Ethiopia: Results for Benishangul-Gumuz Region, Vol. 1 (accessed 6 January 2009)
  3. Names and codes for January 2000, Ethiopia (WHO website). The information in the WHO spreadsheet is built on information received 18 September 2002 from the Ethiopian Ministry of Federal Affairs.
  4. Gerd Baumann, Douglas H. Johnson and Wendy James (editor), Juan Maria Schuver's Travels in North East Africa 1880-1883 (Hakluyt Society. Second Series, No 184), 1996.
  5. CSA 2005 National Statistics, Table B.3
  6. 1994 Population and Housing Census, Vol. 1, Tables 2.1, 2.7, 2.12, 2.15, 2.19
  7. 1994 Population and Housing Census, Vol. 1, Tables 3.5, 3.7, 6.11, 6.13

Coordinates: 9°30′N 34°20′E / 9.500°N 34.333°E / 9.500; 34.333

de:Mao-Komo-Spezialworeda fr:Mao-Komo (woreda spécial)