Adama (Oromo Adaama, Ge’ez ኣዳማ ādāmā), better known as Nazret or Nazreth (ናዝሬት nāzrēt). Adama is a city in central Ethiopia and the previous capital of the Oromia Region. It is approximately 100 km southeast of Addis Ababa. This city has an estimated total population of 228,623. This is based on figures from the Central Statistical Agency in 2005. The 1994 national census reported this town had a total population of 127,842. This included 61,965 were males and 65,877 were females. The word ADAMA is derived from the Oromic word ‘ ADAMI’. This means a tree like plant that grows randomly everywhere that cries white blood naturally.
A Little History of Adama
Emperor Haile Selassie renamed the town after Biblical Nazareth. This name was used throughout the twentieth century. In 2000 (English calendar), the city officially reverted to its original Oromo language name, Adama. It is important to note that “Nazareth” is still widely used.
Government Move Oromia Capital to Adama
In 2000, the government moved the regional capital of Oromia from Addis Ababa to Adama. This sparked considerable controversy. Critics of the move believed that the Ethiopian government wished to deemphasize Addis Ababa’s location within Oromia. On the other hand, the government maintained that Addis Ababa “has been found inconvenient. This is from the point of view of developing the language, culture and history of the Oromo people.
How to Get to Adama
Adama lies approximately 100 km southeast of Addis Ababa. This is along the main highway that leads to Djibouti via Dire Dawa. Buses to Adama depart from the Nazareth bus central station in Addis Ababa. It is good to know that they do not follow a strict timetable. Generally the driver waits for the entire bus to fill with passengers. This usually this means that buses leave at least once an hour. The journey takes about two hours. Service may be disrupted during fuel shortages or holidays. Minibuses serve the same route at night after the bus stations have closed. The Addis Ababa-Djibouti railroad runs through Adama.
Get Around Adama Town
Street names and addresses are not discernibly marked within Adama Town. The Addis Ababa-Dire Dawa Road is the main thoroughfare through the town. Blue-and-white taxis use fixed routes along major streets. They cost less than one 2 birr per person, per ride. These will pick up and let off other passengers along the route. It is possible to hire a taxi for private use (called “contract”) for a higher fare. It is important to agree upon the fare for the contract in advance. A horse-drawn cart, or gari, is even cheaper than a public taxi. They have however been largely supplanted by auto-rickshaws (called “Bajaj,” after their manufacturer).