Soddo (woreda)

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Soddo is one of the woredas in the Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples' Region of Ethiopia. This woreda is named after the Soddo Gurage people. It is Part of the Gurage Zone of the Southern Nations, Nationalities, and People's Region. Soddo is bordered on the south by Meskane, and on the west, north and east by the Oromia Region. The administrative center of Soddo 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 is 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.[1]

In the early 1990s, during the period of the Transitional Government, under the influence of the Soddo Jida Democratic Action Group a group of kebeles in Soddo chose through referendum to unite with the Oromia Region. This led to an angry population in Soddo to create its own opposition organization.[2]


Based on the 2007 Census conducted by the CSA, this woreda has a total population of 134,683, of whom 67,130 are men and 67,553 women; 13,720 or 10.19% of its population are urban dwellers. The majority of the inhabitants practice Ethiopian Orthodox Christianity, with 93.35% of the population reporting that belief, while 3.3% were reported as Muslim, and 3.28% were Protestants.[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 Soddo were the Soddo 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% of the population; while 5.17% spoke Oromiffo, 2.54% spoke Amharic and the remaining 1.23% spoke other languages. Ethiopian Orthodox Christianity was practiced by 96.74% of the population, and 2.28% said they were Muslim.[4] 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.[5]


  1. ^ "Tourisms" Archived 2010-11-29 at the Wayback Machine, Gurage Zone Government website (accessed 11 August 2009)
  2. ^ Sarah Vaughan, "Ethnicity and Power in Ethiopia" Archived 2011-08-13 at the Wayback Machine (University of Edinburgh: Ph.D. Thesis, 2003), pp. 262f
  3. ^ Census 2007 Tables: Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples' Region, Tables 2.1, and 3.4.
  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)
  5. ^ 1994 Population and Housing Census of Ethiopia, Vol. 1, part 4, Tables 6.11, 6.13 (accessed 30 December 2008)

Coordinates: 8°20′N 38°40′E / 8.333°N 38.667°E / 8.333; 38.667