Dire Dawa Ethiopia
Dire Dawa is city in Harar region, Ethiopia. It is a commercial and industrial center located on the Addis Ababa–Djibouti railroad. Manufactures include processed meat, vegetable oil, textiles, and cement. There are also railroad workshops in the city. Dire Dawa was founded in 1902 when the railroad from Djibouti reached the area, and its growth has resulted largely from trade brought by the railroad.
The Dire Dawa administrative council consists of the city of Dire Dawa and the
surrounding rural areas. The council has no administrative zones but one woreda - Gurgura woreda. There are 4 Keftegnas, 24 urban kebeles and 28 rural peasants associations. Dire Dawa is the capital city of the administrative council.
Where is Dire Dawa Located
Dire Dawa is located in the eastern part of the country enclosed by the State of Somalia and the State of Oromia. It is found at a distance of 515 Kilometres from Addis Ababa. The administration has an estimated area of 128,802 hectares.
According to the 1994 census, the total population was 151,864, of which 127,286 were males and 124,578 females. The proportion of males and females is about 50.5 to 49.5 percent, respectively. The urban residents of the administrative council number 173,188 while its rural residents 78,676. Besides, there were 52,245 households in Dire Dawa administrative council with an average of 4.7 persons per household.
According to the census result, the major ethnic groups of the residents of Dire Dawa administrative council were found to be 48% Oromo, 27.7% Amahra, 13.9% Somali, 4.5% Guragie (2.3% Sebat Bet, 0.8% Sodo and 1.4% Silte) and 5.9% others. Amharic is the official language of the administrative council.
From the census of 1994, the religious composition of the population of Dire Dawa administrative council indicates that 63.2% were Muslims, 34.5% Orthodox Christians, 1.5% Protestants, 0.7% Catholics, and 0.1% followers of other religious groups.
Climate and Weather Conditions in Dire Dawa
The climatic condition of Dire Dawa seems to be greatly influenced by its topography. This town lies between 950 – 1250 meter above sea level. It is characterized by warm and dry climate with a relatively low level of precipitation.
The mean annual temperature of Dire Dawa is about 25.40C. The average maximum temperature of Dire Dawa is 31.40C, while its average minimum temperature is about 18.20C.
The region has two rain seasons; that is, a small rain season from March to April, and a big rain season that extends from August to September. The aggregate average annual rainfall that the region gets from these two seasons is about 604 mm. On the other hand, the region is believed to have an abundant underground water resource.
Language and Religion in Dire Dawa
A number of Ethiopian Languages including Oromiffa, Amharic, Somali, Guragigna, Tigrigna, Harari, etc. They are widely spoken in Dire Dawa by the people from the various nations and nationalities living in Dire Dawa. Amharic is used as a working language in the city. Arabic also serves as a medium of communication in some sectors of the city.
There is a presence of conducive environments like similarity in lifestyles. Closeness and friendship among the people of the city have contributed to the creation of a unique blending of custom here. These transcends any cultural and language barriers. As a result of this, nearly all the people living especially in the central and eastern sections of the city are able to speak two or more languages.
The predominant religions practiced in the region are Islam and Christianity. However, we can find people from other religious groups like Hindu and the like in the city.
Getting to Dire Dawa
Aba Tenna D. Yilma International Airport is the second largest airport in Ethiopia. Ethiopian Airlines flies several times a day. There is also Air Djibouti and a few other smaller airlines of Middle Eastern countries. The unrecognized break-away Republic of Somaliland also has an airline that flies to Dire Dawa.
Dire Dawa is connected to Addis Ababa and the historical city of Harar by road, but fly or take train from Addis to get in to Dire Dawa.
There are three bus companies operating services linking Addis Ababa and Dire Dawa. The cheapest, least comfortable and slowest is the government local bus service. This can take anything from twelve to fifteen hours.
The most expensive is the Sky bus service, a luxury Chinese coach with toilets and a movie system, which takes around ten hours. The Salem bus is a reasonable middle option, which is much quicker than the local service but still a bus rather than a coach.
Tickets for government buses are bought in the main bus station. Sky bus tickets are sold from a discrete office in the Cornell area of town. Salem bus tickets are purchased at the Samrat Hotel opposite the Ras.
Harar is the other major destination. Small mini buses leave whenever they are full from the main bus station and take about an hour. It rarely takes longer than fifteen minutes for a minibus to be ready to leave.
A brand new railway line has been inaugurated between Djibouti and Addis Abeba, reducing the journey time from days to a few hours. There is one passenger train every second day in each direction. It took the train 11 hours from Addis Ababa to Dire Dawa (July 2019).
Bring enough food and water for your trip, since it seemed that the train restaurant ran out of everything in the middle of the trip to Dire Dawa (note that there are no shops nor restaurants at the station).
The ticket costs 616 ETB one way (July 2019) and can be bought at a ticket office located at La Gare lightrail stop (under the station), advisable a few days in advance. You will get a voucher which you should exchange for your ticket at the train station one hour before the departure. The train station is located outside of the city - ask at the ticket office for directions, since many taxi drivers do not know how to find it. Taxi to the train station - 300 ETB from Olympia.
What to See in Dire Dawa
Dire Dawa has a rich wealth of pre-historic cave paintings some of which have achieved international recognition. This has been through the efforts of the French and American Geologists. They have studied them several times in the last 75 years, while there are still other caves that have never been studied so far.
2nd World War Memorial
The remains of the British airmen and African soldiers who, during the second World War, fought besides the Ethiopian forces to liberate Ethiopia from Italian occupation.
The Old Railway Station
The railway line that reached Dire Dawa in 1902 is believed to have been the reason the city came into being in the first place. That is why the railway station is one of the destinations of tourists and other visitors coming to the city.
Kefira is a traditional market place where one can see the colorful presentation of all people of the region in their cultural dresses. The presence of camels, donkeys, and the inevitable Gharris, two wheeled carts drown by a horse or a mule, gives it an aura of going back to medieval times.
This is one of largest mosques found in the city. It is called Italian Mosque because the Italians built it during their short-lived occupation of Ethiopia.
St. Michel’s Catholic Church
St. Michel’s Catholic Church was built over 115 years ago, and is located 26 kilometres from the city near a place called Beyo Awale. During the month of October Catholic believers from Dire Dawa, Harar, and other place annually gather at the church in there thousands.
|Currency used||Ethiopia Biir|