Background Information

Background Information

Following the fall of the military regime in 1991, the new Ethiopian constitution, introduced in 1994, created a federal government structure. The federal structure is composed of nine Regional States: Tigray, Afar, Amhara, Oromia, Somali, Benishangul Gumuz, Southern Nations Nationalities and Peoples Region (SNNPR), Gambella and Harrari and two city Administrations (Addis Ababa and Dire Dawa).

Somali region, being as a part of Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, is located in the eastern part of the country. It lies between 3 and 15 degrees north latitude; and 41 and 48 degrees east longitude. With a total area of around 350,000 Km2 (about 30% of the Ethiopia), it is bordered by Oromia Regional State in the West and Southwest, Afar National Regional State in the Northeast. Internationally it is bordered with Kenya in the South, Somalia in the East, and Djibouti in the north.

Somali Regional state is divided into nine administrative zones including Jijiga, Shinile, Fik, Dhagahbur, Korrahe, Warder, Goday, Afder and Liban. The nine zones are further divided into 52 woredas. The woreda is the basic decentralized administrative unit and has an administrative council composed of elected members. The capital town of the region is Jijiga, which is located in Jijiga zones

Weather is hot most of the year. Temperature ranges between 18 and 40 degrees Centigrade. Annual rainfall is also between 300 and 880 mm.

According to the 2008 released Population and Housing Census in Ethiopia, total population of Somali region is 4.4 million inhabitants (6%). Of the total, 44% and 56% are females and males respectively. The average household size is 6,6. The total urban population of the region is estimated to be only 14%. While the overwhelming majority (about 86%) of the total population is pastoralist and agro-pastoralist. The average population density is 13 persons per square km, with great variation among woredas of the region.

In Somali region, the age structure of the population has its significant, with 44% of the population under the age of 15 years; Children under the age one year and five years are 0.7% and 10% respectively. A large proportion of women (23%) are in the reproductive age group (15-49 years).

Most of the people in the SNRS lead pastoral and agro-pastoral lifestyle. The main income of the region’s population is driven from livestock rearing, petty trading and small-scale farming of sorghum, maize and millet, which meet some of the consumption needs.