Werder is one of the woredas in the Somali Region of Ethiopia, named after its administrative center, Werder. Part of the Werder Zone Werder is bordered on the southwest by the Korahe Zone, on the north by Danot, and on the east by Geladin.
The average elevation in this woreda is 943 meters above sea level. As of 2008[update], Werder has no all-weather gravel road nor any community roads; about 7.25% of the total population has access to drinking water.
Before 1960, the only water available during the dry season in Werder woreda were the Werder wells and those in its vicinity: Welwel, Gerlogube, Afyerado, Ubatale, Wafdug and Yo'ub. Ogaden, Dhulbahante, Majeerteen and Isaaq pastoralists watered from these wells. In the years after 1960 the construction of private birkas (underground concrete water tanks), which greatly increased after 1970. While this allowed the area that was previously grazed mainly in the wet season to now be grazed throughout the dry season, it has also led to a serious decline in the native species most favored for fodder and grazing in this woreda.
The woreda was greatly affected by Ethiopian military actions. According to Human Rights Watch, in late May and June 2007, the Ethiopian army and Regional authorities forced the inhabitants of numerous villages within a 60-kilometer radius of the administrative center, including Aado (Caado), Arowela, Daratoole, Dhurwaa-Hararaf, Lahelow, Neef-Kuceliye, Qamuuda, Ubatale, Wa’di, Ubatale, Wafdug and Yo'ub. Over the following weeks, many of these villages were then burned: Daratoole in mid-June; Lahelow in late June; Neef-Kuceliye on 23 June; Aado and Wa’di in mid-July.
Based on the 2007 Census conducted by the Central Statistical Agency of Ethiopia (CSA), this woreda has a total population of 58,035, of whom 32,743 are men and 25,292 women. While 9,211 or 15.87% are urban inhabitants, a further 13,493 or 23.25% are pastoralists. 99.24% of the population said they were Muslim. This woreda is primarily inhabited by the Ogaaden-Majeerten and Dhulbahante, both sub-clans of the Somali Darood clan. The Ogaaden inhabit the northern and western parts wheres the majeerten inhabit the eastern parts of the woreda.
The 1997 national census reported a total population for this woreda of 98,699, of whom 55,320 were men and 43,379 were women; 12,309 or 12.47% of its population were urban dwellers. The largest ethnic group reported in Werder was the Somali 98,447 (99.9%).
- 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
- "Changing Pastoralism in the Ethiopian Somali National Regional State (Region 5)", UNDP Emergencies Unit for Ethiopia report, dated 30 May 1998 (accessed 22 December 20080
- "Collective Punishment: War Crimes and crimes against Humanity in the Ogaden area of Ethiopia's Somali Regional State", Human Rights Watch Report (2008), pp. 40, 47 (accessed 14 May 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, 2.12 (accessed 10 January 2009). The results of the 1994 census in the Somali Region were not satisfactory, so the census was repeated in 1997.