Welcome to Nejo, a town located in the West Welega Zone of the Oromia Region in western Ethiopia. With a latitude and longitude of 9°30′N 35°30′E and an elevation of 1821 meters above sea level, Nejo is the administrative center of Nejo woreda. Despite being a small town, Nejo has a rich history and culture that is worth exploring.
== History ==
Nejo has a long and fascinating history. In 1888, the joint forces of Ras Gobana Dacche and Moti Moroda Bekere defeated the invading army of Khalil al-Khuzani, an officer of the Abdallahi ibn Muhammad who had invaded Wellega, near Nejo at the hill of Guté Dili. At the time, Nejo was a trading center of the Sibu Oromo. Dejazmach Kumsa Moroda or Dejazmach Gebre Egziabher moved his residence from Nekemte to Nejo, where around 1893 he built the church of Kidane Mihret, the second Ethiopian Orthodox church in Sibo province; priests for the church were recruited from Shewa. In 1904, Onesimos Nesib arrived at Nejo to establish a mission, together with his wife, his children, and a group of associates including Aster Ganno. Nejo had become a significant market center for gold from the nearby Abay and Dabus rivers. The Evangelical mission was revived in 1927, when Pastor Martin Nordfeldt and his family arrived from Nekemte in July of that year. Nejo became something of a mining center in 1929, when important occurrences of gold were found in the area. Despite being converted to a Roman Catholic church during the Italian occupation, the Evangelical church survived and was once again in operation by the late 1940s.
== Demographics ==
Based on figures from the Central Statistical Agency in 2005, Nejo has an estimated total population of 19,887, of whom 9,811 are men and 10,076 women. The 1994 census reported this town had a total population of 11,125 of whom 5,321 were men and 5,804 were women.
== Things to Do ==
While Nejo may not be a typical tourist destination, there are still plenty of things to see and do in this charming town. One of the must-visit places in Nejo is the church of Kidane Mihret, which was built in the late 19th century by Dejazmach Kumsa Moroda or Dejazmach Gebre Egziabher. The church is a beautiful example of Ethiopian Orthodox architecture and is still in use today. Another interesting place to visit is the hill of Guté Dili, where the joint forces of Ras Gobana Dacche and Moti Moroda Bekere defeated the invading army of Khalil al-Khuzani in 1888. The hill offers stunning views of the surrounding landscape and is a great spot for a picnic.
If you’re interested in history, be sure to visit the mission established by Onesimos Nesib in 1904. Although the original school has closed, the mission is still in operation and offers a fascinating glimpse into the history of Nejo. For those interested in mining, Nejo’s history as a mining center for gold from the nearby Abay and Dabus rivers is worth exploring. You can still see the small neatly worked baskets that were used to weigh out the gold, as well as the copper balances and gold-dust in quills that were used in the trade.
== Getting There ==
Nejo is served by Nejjo Airport and is 150 km east of Asosa Airport. The town is easily accessible by road and is well-connected to other major cities in Ethiopia. If you’re traveling from Addis Ababa, the capital city of Ethiopia, it will take you around 8 hours to reach Nejo by car.
== Conclusion ==
Nejo may not be a typical tourist destination, but it is a town with a rich history and culture that is worth exploring. Whether you’re interested in history, architecture, or mining, there is something for everyone in Nejo. So why not add this charming town to your travel itinerary and discover the hidden gems of western Ethiopia?