The city of Hawassa

Perfectly poised at Lake Hawasa’s edge, the capital of the Sidama regional state and the Southern Nations, Nationalities and People’s Region (SNNPR) is large, modern, well organized, and a bit of a shock to the system for those who’ve been slogging it through the Omo valley for a long time.

A distance of 275 km from Addis Ababa It is bounded by Lake Hawassa on the west and north-west, Chelelaka swampy area on the east and south-east, Tikur Wuha River on the north, and Alamura Mountain on the south.  Its astronomical location is 070 03′ north latitude and 300.

Hawassa was founded in 1960 by Ras Mangesha Seyoum under the permission of Emperor Haile Selassie.  In 1961, 404 pensioned soldiers, as well as their families, were provided with plots of land to settle in the eastern part of the town. This is reckoned to have given an impetus to the growth and development of the town.  From 1960-1968, Hawassa served as the capital of a sub-administration of Yabella wereda, and it was designated the capital of the then Sidamo province in 1968.  Hawassa town began to be administered by a municipality in 1962.  Hawassa town has got its name from “Hawassa Lake”, which in the Sidama language stands for “large or wide water body”.  Before the establishment of the town, the locality used to be known as”Adare”, which in Sidama language means “field of cattle”.  The availability of large grazing pasture and abundant water resources throughout the year attracted the highland farmers and the low land pastoralists.

The city of Hawassa is one of the fast-growing cities in the region and it has a city administration consisting of eight sub-cities and urban as well as rural kebeles.  The sub cities are named as Addis Ketema, Hayk Dar, Bahil Adarash, Misrak, Menahreya, Tabor, Mehal Ketema and Tula.