Locating Baskeet on a political map

With 45+ different ethnic groups, the Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples’ Region, or simply the Southern Region or the SNNPR, is the ethnically most heterogeneous of the nine Ethiopian regions. Located in the South-western part of Ethiopia, the SNNPR is surrounded by the Oromiya Region, apart from a small area in the Northwest where it borders the Gambela Region.

Map of the SNNPR of Ethiopia (Source: Wikipedia)

The SNNPR is divided into, more or less, ethnically based Zones (see a more detailed map here), which are subdivided into administrative Districts (Amharic: wäräda, or in an Anglicised transliteration: woreda), which are again subdivided into Wards/Neighbourhoods (Amharic: k’äbäle, or in an Anglicised transliteration: kebele):

Administrative Organisation in Ethiopia

Administrative Organisation in Ethiopia

The so-called “Special Districts” / “Special Woredas” are districts that are not associated with a Zone but directly dependent on a Region. Special Districts gained autonomy from multi-ethnic Zones by arguing that its inhabitants were culturally and linguistically different from other groups of the Zone.

Model of the Southern Region (made by students of the Worzhimeyssa Primary School, Laska)

Model of the Southern Region (made by students of the Worzhimeyssa Primary School, Laska)

One of the ethnic groups in the SNNPR are the Baskeet. The district where most of the Baskeet people live today, i.e. the Basketo Special Woreda, is an autonomous district directly subordinate to the Southern Region. Before becoming autonomous, the district was part of the North Omo Zone. North Omo split up in 2000 into the Gamo-Gofa Zone, Dawro Zone, Wolaitta Zone and two autonomous districts Basketo and Konta.* Due to political reasons unknown to me, not all Baskeet-speaking people were integrated into the Basketo Special Woreda but quite a few Baskeet neighbourhoods (their exact number is still to be investigated) became part of the Melokoza Woreda of the Gamo-Gofa Zone.

The Basketo Special Woreda is divided into 32 neighbourhoods (kebeles). A list of the neighbourhoods is given in the following.**

  • Ganshir-K’aysha
    (Just North of Laska)
  • Mootikessa-Arzak’a
    (East of Laska, South of the Gofa-Basketo road)
  • Dabts’a-Dalk’insa
    (East of Laska, North of the Gofa-Basketo road)
  • Sheel-Kanibol           
    (Eastern edge of the Basketo highlands, first neighbourhood reached
    when one travels to the Basketo Special Woreda on the Gofa-Basketo main road)
  • Bolla-Garballa
    (Northeastern edge of the Basketo Special Woreda)
  • Baya-Boraz-Borgalla
    (North of Ganshir-K’aysha)
  • Gaarbaya
    (North of Dabts’a-Dalk’insa)
  • Zabba-El
    (Southwest of Laska, on the main road to Galila (South Omo Zone))
  • Bookbuc’a***
    (Neighbourhood to the East of Zabba-El)
  • Gez-Ayma
    (South of Zabba-El, last Baskeet neighbourhood on the main road to
    Galila (South Omo Zone))
  • Doocc’a-Miizgawa
    (First neighbourhood to the West of Laska on the main road to
    Balts’a (Melokoza Woreda)
  • Saattsa-Maakessa
    (Second neighbourhood to the West of Laska on the main road to
    Balts’a (Melokoza Woreda))
  • Mandit
    (Northwest of Saattsa-Maakessa on the main road to Dime (Selamago Woreda))
  • Obc’a
    (Northwest of Mandit on the main road to Dime; Northwestern boundary is
    the Usno-River)
  • Bonaara-Mark’anna
    (North of Obc’a, only neighboorhood on the right bank of the Usno River,
    bordering the Melokoza Woreda on three sides)
  • Dookka-C’ari-Subba
    (Northeast of Saattsa-Maakessa, on the main road to Balts’a (Melokoza Woreda))
  • Boola
    (North of Dookka-C’ari-Subba, descending towards the Usno-River,
    bordering the Melokoza Woreda)
  • Dookka-Ayma
    (North of Baya-Boraz-Borgalla)
  • Wad’-Ball’aattsa
    (Last neighbourhood of the Basketo Special Woreda on the main road to
    Balts’a (Melokoza Woreda))
  • Awra-Soosta
    (South of Laska)
  • Shanka-Gama-Gayl
    (Small neighbourhood in the lowlands in the South Eastern corner of the
    Basketo Special Woreda, bordering the Gofa Zuria Woreda of the
    Gamo Gofa Zone and the Galila Woreda of the South Omo Zone)

Laska, the capital of the Basketo Special Woreda, is divided into two neighbourhoods:

  • Laska Baakkalla (i.e. the lower / Southern part of the town)
  • Laska Simba (i.e. the upper / Northern part of the town)

The resettlement areas in the Western lowlands of the Basketo Special Woreda are divided into the following nine neighbourhoods:

  • Gaara-Hadiyya
  • Gaara-Wolaitta
  • Gaara-Baskeet
  • Angila 1
  • Angila 2
  • Angila-Konso
  • Bunibas 1
  • Bunibas 2
  • Bunibas 3

A couple of years ago,**** families from densely populated areas in Hadiyya, Konso and Wolaitta and from the highland areas of the Basketo Special Woreda were allocated plots in the resettlement areas. Currently, large plantations by outside investors are being developed in the lowlands in the Western parts and to the West of the Basketo Special Woreda; these areas were traditionally used by the neighbouring Bodi people as grazing land for their cattle.

Unfortunately, maps are very hard to come by in Ethiopia. Apart from a hand-drawn sketch map that I cannot share, I was unable to get a map showing the boundaries of the neighbourhoods of the Basketo Special Woreda mentioned above.

——————————

Notes:
*Source: Vaughan, Sarah 2003. Power and Ethnicity in Ethiopia. PhD thesis, University of Edinburgh.
**I will update the list when corrections and additions are pointed out to me. I am not very sure about the correct transcription of some place names; their pronunciation varies on the context (administrative vs. non-administrative) they are used in.
***I am not entirely sure that Bookbuc’a is a separate neighbourhood. This remains to be verified.
****In the mid- and end-noughties.
Acknowledgments: I am grateful to the Woreda adminstration in Laska for providing information on the neighbourhoods of the Basketo Special Woreda.
© 2011-2 Baskettoethiopia All Rights Reserved
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2 Responses to Locating Baskeet on a political map

  1. ras age says:

    really its nice!!

  2. Andualem says:

    wow well done!! thank you for your HARD work. you are successful!

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