-Dire Dawa-


What you need to know Dire Dawa

Map of Dire Dawa

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Dire Dawa in Ethiopia (the other being the capital, Addis Ababa). It is divided administratively into two woredas, the city proper and the non-urban woreda of Gurgura. According to the “Futuh Al Habasha: Conquest of Abyssinia”, the area or settlement was only called Dir after the major Somali clan around 5 centuries ago.

Dire Dawa lies in the eastern part of the nation, on the Dechatu River, at the foot of a ring of cliffs that has been described as “somewhat like a cluster of tea-leaves in the bottom of a slop-basin.” At a latitude and longitude of 9°36′N 41°52′ECoordinates: 9°36′N 41°52′E, it is the second largest city in Ethiopia.

The city is an industrial centre, home to several markets and the Aba Tenna Dejazmach Yilma International Airport. Haramaya University is 40 kilometres (25 miles) away.


According to the 1994 census, the total population was 151,864, of which 127,286 were males and 124,578 females. Dire Dawa has become home for peoples from a number of nations and nationalities found in the country as well as for people from India, Yemen, Turkey, etc.2.4.

Language and Religion

A number of Ethiopian Languages including Oromiffa, Amharic, Somali, Guragigna, Tigrigna, Harari, etc. 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.

The 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 thattranscends 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.



Dire Dawa has a hot semi-arid climate (Köppen climate classification BSh). It’s a warm and dry climate with a relatively low level of precipitation. The mean annual temperature of Dire Dawa is about 25.9 °C (78.6 °F). The average maximum temperature of Dire Dawa is 32.8 °C (91.0 °F), while its average minimum temperature is about 19.0 °C (66.2 °F). The region has two rain seasons; that is, a small rain season from March to April, and a more pronounced rain season that extends from August to September. The aggregate average annual rainfall that the region gets from these two seasons is about 583 mm (22.9 in).


Dire Dawa received postal service in August 1906, becoming the third location after Addis Ababa and Harar. Telephone service was available by 1954; by 1967, Dire Dawa had almost 500 telephone numbers, more than almost all other towns including Gondar, Harar, and Jimma.

The CSA estimated in 2005 that farmers in Dire Dawa had a total 40,400 head of cattle (representing 0.1{0b3b190b563cb5b625784fd66880ece230efe4303f8e5424ca250c9930292cad} of Ethiopia’s total), 46,280 sheep (0.27{0b3b190b563cb5b625784fd66880ece230efe4303f8e5424ca250c9930292cad}), 118,770 goats (0.92{0b3b190b563cb5b625784fd66880ece230efe4303f8e5424ca250c9930292cad}), 8,820 asses (0.35{0b3b190b563cb5b625784fd66880ece230efe4303f8e5424ca250c9930292cad}), 5,070 camels (1.11{0b3b190b563cb5b625784fd66880ece230efe4303f8e5424ca250c9930292cad}), 44,740 poultry of all species (0.14{0b3b190b563cb5b625784fd66880ece230efe4303f8e5424ca250c9930292cad}), and 840 beehives (less than 0.1{0b3b190b563cb5b625784fd66880ece230efe4303f8e5424ca250c9930292cad}).

The invasive weed Parthenium hysterophorus (or Congress weed) was first observed in Ethiopia near Dire Dawa in 1980. Experts speculate that it entered the country either through the Djibouti – Addis Ababa railway line or the international airport, carried by one of the food aid programs.

About 2007, a concrete sleeper factory was established, sited near the cement factory.

Dire Dawa is home to several market centers, the biggest being Taiwan along with Qefira which is on the flood plain. Near Dire Dawa and what is now Kebele 01, trading happened in the town called Melka Jebdu. It has been the gateway for most of the goods sold in places such as Taiwan.