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The Dawa River ( so, Webiga Daawa) is found in
East Africa East Africa, Eastern Africa, or East of Africa is the eastern sub-region A subregion is a part of a larger region or continent and is usually based on location. Cardinal directions, such as south or southern, are commonly used to define a subr ...
, covering an area of, 58,961 km2. It flows through three major countries:
Kenya ) , national_anthem = "Ee Mungu Nguvu Yetu "Ee Mungu Nguvu Yetu" (, ) is the national anthem of Kenya. History "Ee Mungu Nguvu Yetu"'s lyrics were originally written in Swahili language, Kiswahili, the national language of Kenya ...

Kenya
,
Ethiopia Ethiopia, officially the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, is a landlocked country A landlocked country is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or political entity. It is often referred to as the ...

Ethiopia
, and
Somalia Somalia,, Osmanya script: 𐒈𐒝𐒑𐒛𐒐𐒘𐒕𐒖; ar, الصومال, aṣ-Ṣūmāl officially the Federal Republic of SomaliaThe ''Federal Republic of Somalia'' is the country's name per Article 1 of thProvisional Constitutio ...

Somalia
, with 81% falling into Ethiopian territory. It is known for its complex geological environment, evident through its diverse
lithology The lithology of a Rock (geology), rock unit is a description of its physical characteristics visible at outcrop, in hand or core sample, core samples, or with low magnification microscopy. Physical characteristics include colour, texture, grain ...
and structural framework, coming from the river's closeness to multiple events. The wide river has gentle slopes either side of its exposed
bedrock Bedrock in geology Geology (from the γῆ, ''gē'' ("earth") and -λoγία, ''-logia'', ("study of", "discourse")) is a branch of concerned with both the liquid and , the of which it is composed, and the processes by which they cha ...

bedrock
. The Dawa river flows south east to form part of the Ethiopia - Somalia border and part of Ethiopia - Kenya border. Awata, Digati, and Mormora are the only significant off-flowing rivers to Dawa.


Location and physiography

The Dawa river has a maximum and minimum
elevation The elevation of a geographic Geography (from Ancient Greek, Greek: , ''geographia'', literally "earth description") is a field of science devoted to the study of the lands, features, inhabitants, and phenomena of the Earth and Solar Sy ...

elevation
of 3098 and 169 metres above sea level, and the
inclination Orbital inclination measures the tilt of an object's orbit around a celestial body. It is expressed as the angle between a Plane of reference, reference plane and the orbital plane or Axis of rotation, axis of direction of the orbiting object. ...
of the basin is toward southeast. The exact location is between 3.92°- 6.47° N and 38.02°- 42.08° E.  A significant proportion of the area in the northern and north-western highland is distinguished by
ridge A ridge or a mountain ridge is a geographical feature consisting of a chain of mountains or hills that form a continuous elevated crest for some distance. The sides of the ridge slope away from narrow top on either side. The lines along th ...

ridge
s and gorges, whilst the south and southeast contour is distinguished by levelled ground,
low relief Relief is a sculptural technique in which the sculpted elements remain attached to a solid background of the same material. The term ''wikt:relief, relief'' is from the Latin verb ''relevo'', to raise. To create a sculpture in relief is to give ...
, long
valley A valley is an elongated low area often running between hills or mountains, which will typically contain a river or stream running from one end to the other. Most valleys are formed by erosion of the land surface by rivers or streams over ...

valley
s, spotted
hill A hill is a landform A landform is a natural or artificial feature of the solid surface of the Earth or other planetary body A planet is an astronomical body Astronomy (from el, ἀστρονομία, literally meaning the scie ...

hill
s and steep ground parallel to the main river.   The Dawa River encompasses a cool zone, a
temperate In geography Geography (from Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its populati ...
zone and hot lowlands, these are the three major climatic zones of the country. The Ethiopian National Meteorology Agency collected monthly rainfall from 1996 to 2016 and found that there is a vast difference between the high rainfall areas, which include the cooler highland area, and low rainfall in the hot lowland areas of the Dawa river. Mean average rainfall is about 1500mm at the northern end and decreases parallel to elevation to 200 mm near the river outlet at the southern end. The annual mean temperature is about 15.5 °C in the northern end and 28 °C towards the southern end.
Groundwater Groundwater is the water Water (chemical formula H2O) is an , transparent, tasteless, odorless, and , which is the main constituent of 's and the s of all known living organisms (in which it acts as a ). It is vital for all known form ...

Groundwater
is typically cold with temperature ranging from 17.1 – 29.0 C. For each
terrain Terrain or relief (also topographical Topography is the study of the forms and features of land surface Relief map of Sierra Nevada, Spain Terrain or relief (also topographical Topography is the study of the forms and fe ...

terrain
, the overall water quality ranges greatly, with higher
salinity Salinity () is the saltiness or amount of salt Salt is a mineral In geology and mineralogy, a mineral or mineral species is, broadly speaking, a solid chemical compound with a fairly well-defined chemical composition and a specific ...

salinity
in sedimentary terrains than in .


Geological complex

The Dawa river is known for its unique geological setting. It has a diversified
lithology The lithology of a Rock (geology), rock unit is a description of its physical characteristics visible at outcrop, in hand or core sample, core samples, or with low magnification microscopy. Physical characteristics include colour, texture, grain ...
and structural framework, formed as a result of the basin's location in close proximity to multiple volcanic-
tectonic Tectonics (; ) are the processes that control the structure and properties of the Earth's crust and its evolution through time. These include the processes of mountain building A mountain is an elevated portion of the Earth's crust, gen ...
events. Typically, along the river, the
basement complex A basement or cellar is one or more Storey, floors of a building that are completely or partly below the storey, ground floor. It generally is used as a utility space for a building, where such items as the boiler, water heating, water heate ...
is laterally positioned in the middle parts of the basin, in between the northwest highland, volcanic rocks and the southeast lowland extensive sedimentary formation. Sedimentary arrangement covers southwestern parts of the Dawa River. The , which is oldest unit in the sequence and composed of
sandstone Sandstone is a clastic sedimentary rock of a clast (sand grain), derived from a basalt Basalt (, ) is a fine-grained extrusive igneous rock formed from the rapid cooling of low-viscosity lava rich in magnesium and iron ('' mafic ' ...

sandstone
and
shale Shale is a fine-grained, clastic Clastic rocks are composed of fragments, or clasts, of pre-existing minerals In geology and mineralogy, a mineral or mineral species is, broadly speaking, a solid chemical compound with a fairly well-defi ...
is overlain by
Adigrat Sandstone The Adigrat Sandstone formation in north Ethiopia, in a wide array of reddish colours, comprises sandstones with coarse to fine grains, and locally Conglomerate (geology), conglomerates, silt- and claystones. Given the many lateritic palaeosols and ...
. Oldest to
Cretaceous The Cretaceous ( ) is a geological period A geological period is one of the several subdivisions of geologic time enabling cross-referencing of rocks and geologic events from place to place. These periods form elements of a hierarchy of division ...

Cretaceous
sedimentary arrangements overlay the Adigrat sandstone. and drilling's in the area indicate that the formation is highly fractured, which leads to a favourable formation for groundwater to occur and move. The newer formations are dominated by impermeable units that inhibit groundwater movement, such as
marble Marble is a metamorphic rock , a type of metamorphic rock Metamorphic rocks arise from the transformation of existing rock (geology), rock to new types of rock, in a process called metamorphism upright=1.35, Schematic representation of ...

marble
and
shale Shale is a fine-grained, clastic Clastic rocks are composed of fragments, or clasts, of pre-existing minerals In geology and mineralogy, a mineral or mineral species is, broadly speaking, a solid chemical compound with a fairly well-defi ...
. In one part of the Dawa River, there is a thick impermeable section that cover the Hamanlie formation and put this potential water producer beyond a depth affordable for the typical community
water well A well is an excavation or structure created in the ground by digging Digging, also referred to as excavation, is the process of using some implement such as claws, hands, manual tools or heavy equipment, to remove material from a solid sur ...

water well
drilling.  Overall, the older rocks are penetrative and absorbent, as a result receiving and transmitting significant amounts of water. However, the newer rocks are impermeable and act as a barrier to the vertical flow of water. Groundwater movement is controlled by facture orientations and generally flows toward southeast. In the humid highland regions, the flow of water occurs directly from local rainfall and groundwater discharges, mostly as springs. On the other hand, in the Semiarid region in the southeast, water occurs indirectly from flash floods and following extreme rainfall periods, from shallow groundwater in the . In most cases, groundwater extraction by communities occurs artificially through the hydroelectrical power plant, or simple well drilling.


Volcanic Events

Specific volcanic events that caused the Dawa rivers’ basin to have such a unique geological setting are Woldehaimanot and Behrmann in 1955, Worku and Schandelmeier in 1996, and Hunegnaw et al. in 1998. The river has , Mesozoic sedimentary creation, tertiary volcanic rocks and Quaternary, quaternary alluvial deposit. In the volcanic terrain, groundwater is at its most dilute, while the salinity is the highest in the sedimentary terrain.


WildLife

The Dawa River is home to thousands of animals and plants, as a number of seasonal rivers and streams feed into the River. The largest trees in the Riparian forest, riverine forest are located along the lower section of the Dawa River. These include: Diospyros mespiliformis, Diospyros Mespliformis, Ficus sycomorus, Ficus sycamorus, Mimusops kummel, Tamarind, Tamarindus indica and Trichilia emetica, African mahogany Trichilia emetica. Shrubs of Ficus, Ficus capreaefolia cover most of the river bank, while bushland and thickets cover most of the wachile plain. Most of the wildlife remains scarce during the long dry season making plants such as Acokanthera schimperi, Dobera glabra, Euclea racemosa, Euclea racemosa schimperi and Salvadora persica abundant and visible. Borena people have developed the skills of farming cattle and sheep as a result of the crops being too dry to grow over the extended dry season. A mixture of grassland and woodland cover the region of the Dawa River. Vegetation consists of a mixture of Perennial plant, perennial grasses, forbs and Woody plant, woody vegetation. There are a number of indigenous species of grasses and woody plants that provide high quality forage, giving a high nutritional value to the plants for the surrounding people. During the dry season, the plants still alive retain higher Protein (nutrient), crude protein than grasses. The distribution of plants depends on the
elevation The elevation of a geographic Geography (from Ancient Greek, Greek: , ''geographia'', literally "earth description") is a field of science devoted to the study of the lands, features, inhabitants, and phenomena of the Earth and Solar Sy ...

elevation
, precipitation, temperature and soil types. When looking at the three climatic zones, there is a different plant and animal species existing in the environment. In the cold highlands the number of herbivores is few because of the temperature constraint. In the hot lowlands the number of herbivores is also few because of the rainfall and water shortage. In the sub-tropic temperature region, there is a higher herbivore population as well as having a high human population. A study from the Simons Foundation, Simons foundation project based in Botswana International University of Science and Technology, Botswana International University examined the impact of rainfall and temperature on the growth rate of plants surrounding the hot low-lying lands of the Dawa River and concluded that if rainfall decreases by 1.5% then the herbivore population will disappear in the lowland zone and go Extinction, extinct or migrate to other regions.


Drought

The Dawa River that flows through the occupied Somali region, where this region and many more have experienced a complete drought of the river for over 3 years. Which once was characterised by water flowing through the river, it now has exposed hot and dry soil, with no plants growing and animals unable to be fed. This has left Somalia and neighbouring countries on the brink of a Humanitarian crisis, humanitarian disaster. When the river dries out, communities are unable to Agriculture, cultivate the fields, fish, use plants surrounding the river for food and most importantly access fresh water. This leaves more than half of Somalia's population of 6.2 million people, in urgent need of food and water that was once provided by the Dawa River.


Use of the river

Locating quality groundwater is a challenge in most parts of the basin. Over time, the people have been utilising and developing the Dawa River to become a great source of water and energy for the communities surrounding it.  With future expected population growth, more water will be demanded.


Hydroelectric power plant

Ethiopia Ethiopia, officially the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, is a landlocked country A landlocked country is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or political entity. It is often referred to as the ...

Ethiopia
,
Somalia Somalia,, Osmanya script: 𐒈𐒝𐒑𐒛𐒐𐒘𐒕𐒖; ar, الصومال, aṣ-Ṣūmāl officially the Federal Republic of SomaliaThe ''Federal Republic of Somalia'' is the country's name per Article 1 of thProvisional Constitutio ...

Somalia
and
Kenya ) , national_anthem = "Ee Mungu Nguvu Yetu "Ee Mungu Nguvu Yetu" (, ) is the national anthem of Kenya. History "Ee Mungu Nguvu Yetu"'s lyrics were originally written in Swahili language, Kiswahili, the national language of Kenya ...

Kenya
on the 14th November 2014 agreed to construct a Dam, multipurpose dam and a Hydroelectricity, hydro power station on the River Dawa. The Project was initially launched in 2010 but received setbacks due to issues related to the resettlement of residents living close to the Dam. Due to the challenge in locating quality groundwater most of the year, the proposal sought to solve the persistent drought that covered the region surrounding the Dawa river. In February 2020 Ethiopia inaugurated the Genale Dawa III hydroelectric power plant. This development will help increase the surrounding country's electric power capacity to 4654 MW, while also enhancing the economic benefits of Dawa Communities through increasing irrigation development. The 110-metre-high and 426-metre-long dam has the capacity to hold 2.5 billion cubic meters of water. The Hydroelectric Plant received a total investment outlay of US$451million and was built by a Chinese firm called the Gezhouba Group, China Gezhouba Group. Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed claims that “the expansion of irrigation development will enable Ethiopian and surrounding communities to sustain food security.”. While each country surrounding the Hydroelectric power plant has its own interests and needs, there has not been a trilateral agreement surrounding cooperation over the rivers’ usage. The cooperation surrounding its usage has been shaped by domestic interests and interstate tensions. However, the possibility of interstate conflict due to these tensions is low, due to Ethiopia's comparative advantage with its military, geographically, economically and its diplomatic influence.


Irrigated farming

Irrigated farming and land cultivation has been used by tribes / communities along the Dawa River, mainly the Borana Oromo people, Borona Pastroalists, since 1983/84, specifically, households in Hadhessa and Qorati. The tribe Gada of Liben Jaldessa started using it in 2000. In 2008, Irrigated farming, specifically using motorized pumps, expanded along the Dawa River and was used by the Borona Pastoralism, Pastoralists in Liben. The government in the last 10–20 years has encouraged irrigated farming along the Dawa River due to the severe droughts, and declining livestock numbers that impacted all communities across the country. Originally tribes / communities had abundances of cattle and land cultivation was forbidden until 1972. Now people have developed the skill of farming using the river sources, hence the utilization of the Dawa River for irrigated farming. There are small ponds built by the local people to provide water over a wide area for their animals. Communities around the Dawa River have to dig deep wells that tap underground water. These wells provide more than four-fifths of the total accessible water during the dry season. Drawing from the wells is labour-intensive, and is a social and economic significance to the regions pastoralists.  In addition to this important economic activity throughout the dry southern parts of Borena Zone, Borena, the communities collect gums and resins from trees of Commiphora and Boswellia. Conflicts between ethnic groups surrounding the Dawa River are generally concerning the Pasture, grazing lands and water rights. With the increase in frequency of droughts occurring now every 1 to 2 years, this causes the death of many more livestock. This has led to a further increase in land cultivation among the poorer tribes and communities.


Gold Discovery

Dawa River has been a sight of gold discoveries over history. Along the Dawa river, gold has been found between Awata and Kokowa effluents. The lower part of the river has been classed as a relatively young Cycle of erosion, erosion cycle, this valley is relatively wide, with gentle slopes either side has exposed bedrock. The exposed bedrock allowed a Texas Africa Exploration Co. geologist in 1958 to discover titanium minerals and ilmenite in the river. The discovery of titanium and ilmenite led to the discovery in 1958-59 of gold, this in turn made it possible to increase gold exploitation in the Dawa area for ventures across the globe. This was an important aspect of the Dawa River in the past, however in current times the importance of the River has shifted to supplying water to surrounding communities.


References


Bibliography

# Woldemariyam, F., Ayenew, T 2016, ‘Application of hydro chemical and isotopic techniques to understand groundwater recharge and flow systems in the Dawa River basin, southern Ethiopia’, Environ Earth Sci 75, 1002 # Woldemariyam, F., Ayenew, T 2016. ‘Identification of hydrogeochemical processes in groundwater of Dawa River basin, southern Ethiopia’. ''Environ Monit Assess'' 188, 481 # Manalebish Debalike Asfaw, Semu Mitiku Kassa, Lungu, E. and Woldeamlak Bewket, 2019. ‘Effects of temperature and rainfall in plant–herbivore interactions at different altitude’. ''Ecological Modelling'', 406, pp. 50–59 # Serur, A. and Sarma, A., 2017. ‘Current and projected water demand and water availability estimates under climate change scenarios in the Weyib River basin in Bale mountainous area of South-eastern Ethiopia’. ''Theoretical and Applied Climatology'', 133(3-4), pp. 727–735 # Boru, D., Schwartz, M., Kam, M. and Degen, A., 2015. ‘Effects of Family Size and Wealth on Size of Land Cultivated by Borana Pastoralists in Southern Ethiopia’. ''Human Ecology'', 43(1), pp. 15–28 # Construction Review Online. 2020. ''Ethiopia Inaugurates Genale Dawa III Hydroelectric Power Plant''. Available at: https://constructionreviewonline.com/2020/02/ethiopia-inaugurates-genale-dawa-iii-hydroelectric-power-plant/ [Accessed 23 March 2020]. # Nai.uu.se. 2020. ''Local History Of Ethiopia : Daoierri - Dearo Tekle''. Available at: https://nai.uu.se/library/resources/thematic-resources/local-history-of-ethiopia.html [Accessed 23 March 2020] #Commons.wikimedia.org. 2010. ''File:Jubbarivermap.Png - Wikimedia Commons''. Available at: :File:Jubbarivermap.png, https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Jubbarivermap.png [Accessed 22 April 2020]. #Datazone.birdlife.org. 2020. ''Birdlife Data Zone''. Available at: http://datazone.birdlife.org/site/factsheet/dawa--wachile-iba-ethiopia [Accessed 15 May 2020]. #Sipri.org. 2020. ''WATER SECURITY AND GOVERNANCE IN THE HORN OF AFRICA''. Available at: https://www.sipri.org/sites/default/files/2020-03/sipripp54_0.pdf [Accessed 17 May 2020]. #Drc.ngo. 2020. ''When The River Dries Out All Life Disappears , DRC''. Available at: https://drc.ngo/news/when-the-river-dries-out-all-life-disappears [Accessed 16 May 2020]. #KEBBEDE, G., 2018. ''ENVIRONMENT AND SOCIETY IN ETHIOPIA''. [Place of publication not identified]: ROUTLEDGE. {{Rivers of Ethiopia Rivers of Ethiopia Rivers of Somalia Rivers of Kenya International rivers of Africa Jubba River Ethiopian Highlands Geography of Oromia Region Ethiopia–Kenya border Ethiopia–Somalia border Border rivers