Konso is one among the Woredas /districts of the Segen Area Peoples’ Zone of Southern Nations, Nationalities’ and Peoples’ Regional State (SNNPRS) in Southern Ethiopia. Karat, the centre and capital of Konso, is located at about 595 and 365 km south west of Addis Ababa and Awassa respectively. The total land area of Konso is about 2355km2 characterized by hilly, mountainous intersected by gullies and valleys, most of which have been under cultivation over a period of hundreds of years. Konso population living in this geographical location at present is about 248,780(51.76% females & 48.24 males) with annual growth rate 2.6%.
Konso is known for its hard-working people who endowed with extraordinary skill and knowledge, particularly in Indigenous Water and Soil Conservation and Management Practice. They managed to survive in marginal environment using the indigenous skills and knowledge that enabled them to make optimal use of unfavorable terrain and climatic conditions in innovative manner. This creative, indigenous and noble work culture has qualified Konso people in 1995 for UN prize and recognition and registration of Konso landscape as cultural heritage site by UNSCO in 2010.
Despite this spectacular deed by the people, it remained in food insecurity and abject poverty. This is due to natural calamities and other factors. Erratic and unreliable rainfall, recurrent drought, population increase, depletion of soil fertility and other natural resources; small farm land holdings; unimproved agricultural farming can be mentioned as factors that compelled this hard-working people to stay in distressed livelihood. Poor socio-economic condition of the community is also another factor contributed to this.
Currently the government is implementing food security, poverty reduction and other development programs that contribute to the socio-economic development of the community. Konso Development Association (KDA) is one of the NGOs working in Konso supporting Development initiatives and contributing towards the socio-economic development of the Konso; thereby the region and the country as a whole.