Ayesha (Italian Aiscia) is one of the woredas in the Somali Region of Ethiopia. The northernmost woreda of the Shinile Zone, Ayesha is bordered on the south by Dembel, on the west by Shinile, on the north by Djibouti, on the east by Somalia, and on the southeast by the Jijiga Zone. Towns in Ayesha include Ayesha, Dewele, Lasarat and Mermedebis.
The average elevation in this woreda is 766 meters above sea level. As of 2008[update], Ayesha has 180 kilometers of all-weather gravel road and 287.2 kilometers of community roads; about 20% of the total population has access to drinking water. The track of the Addis Ababa - Djibouti Railway crosses this woreda, following the canyon cut by the Ayesha River in a southern direction, then turns southwest into Shinile just before reaching Adigale.
In mid April 2006, floods were reported to have displaced up to 3,000 people in Laserat. According to woreda officials, the floods destroyed more than 190 houses and killed as many as 500 head of livestock. The Ethiopian De-mining Office reported in November 2008 that it had cleared land mines planted in Ayesha as part of the four million square meters of land the office had cleared in the Somali Region.
Based on the 2007 Census conducted by the Central Statistical Agency of Ethiopia (CSA), this woreda has a total population of 58,086, of whom 31,241 are men and 26,845 women. While 7,970 or 13.72% are urban inhabitants, a further 37,339 or 64.28% are pastoralists. 96.3% of the population said they were Muslim, and 2.68% said they practiced Orthodox Christian. Ayesha is primarily inhabited by the Issa clan of the Somali people.
The 1994 national census reported a total population for this woreda of 46,605, of whom 23,305 were men and 23,300 were women; 6,577 or 14.11% were urban inhabitants. The largest ethnic group reported in Ayesha was the Somali people of the Gadabuursi, Issa clan and Gurgure inhabitants(95.99%).
- Hailu Ejara Kene, Baseline Survey of 55 Weredas of PCDP Phase II, Part I (Addis Ababa: August 2008), Annex 1 (accessed 23 March 2009)
- Hailu Ejara Kene, Baseline Survey, Annexes 16, 17
- "Regional overview: Somali", Focus on Ethiopia, UN-OCHA, 20 April 2006 (accessed 27 February 2009)
- "Landmines Cleared From 4 Million Square Meters Of Land", Ethiopian News Agency, 20 November 2008 (accessed 17 June 2009)
- Census 2007 Tables: Somali Region, Tables 2.1, 2.4, 3.1 and 3.4.
- 1994 Population and Housing Census of Ethiopia: Results for Somali Region, Vol. 1, Tables 2.1, 2.7, 2.12,