Kembatta - Alaba - Tembaro (KAT) Zone is in the Southern Ethiopia Nations -Nationalities and Peoples Regional State, located 370 kms south of Addis Ababa. The total area of the zone is 3083.9 sq. km.  The current total population is about 855,000, out of which 49 % are male and 51 % are female.  The rural population is 94.2% and only 5.8% live in the rural towns. KAT is one of the most densely populated and impoverished regions of the country, with the density of 277 person's /sq. km, with a diverse population. According to the Regional Bureau of Planning, the two weradas in Kembatta, Kedida Gamela and Kachabira have density of 503.6 and 558.4 persons per sq. km, respectively, placing them 4th and 2nd in the region. This is 5 and 6 times greater than that of the Regional average population density. Such population density has burdened the environment greatly.

The poor infrastructure development exacerbates the situation.  There are two manual telephone post, 114 primary schools (1-6), 7, (1-7) primary, 30, junior and 7, Secondary schools. While most of the primary schools are in rural area, all secondary schools are located in towns. Even though the schools run two shifts a day, there are still large numbers of school age children who do not have access to education. Most of the schools lack basic services, such as books, paper, laboratory or other teaching aids, library, electricity, desk, drinking water, health clinic, etc.

Just about 7% people of the zone have got access to running water. Most communicable diseases are attributed to lack of safe water supply, poor level of environmental sanitation, personal hygiene practices and nutritional deficiencies.  Water borne, respiratory and parasitic diseases are the most common causes of morbidity and mortalities.

The current Ethiopian government has enormous task ahead, to bring economic stability and democratic process to the Ethiopian people.  Primary responsibility for economic stabilization and development lies with regional, zonal and local administrations, which have few resources to draw upon.  However, there is a strong self-help spirit among people of the zone. Most of the schools in the districts were built and administered by the communities.

Though the education policy of Ethiopia does not discriminate females, there is no concerted effort to promote and emphasize the education of the girl child and reorientation of society's attitude towards role and positive contribution of women in development. In Kembatta, although it is in later age than boys, the girls enter grade one in roughly equal numbers with boys, however more than half of girls who enter grade one fail to complete even grade four. According to the 1988 (E.C) statistical data the percentage of girls in primary and junior urban schools is 43 and 32 while it is 34 and 28 for the rural. Moreover, in senior secondary schools the participation of rural girls is negligible, while it is 31 for urban By age six, most girls are already taking care of their families. "The women's work", that is, food processing, cooking, carrying over 90% of water, collecting firewood, participating in the farm, taking care of the infirm, the young and the aged, leaves very little time for school work.

Often, between age eleven to sixteen, the cruel practice of female genital excision has exposed them to life long reproductive health problems. The few rural girls, who complete 8-12, grade against great obstacles are eliminated in the Matriculation process. Most of these girls have nowhere to go; however, some of them leave their relative security behind, and migrate to urban areas seeking employment and education opportunity.  In the strange and overcrowded urban centers where unemployment is very high, the only opportunity they may have is to be come commercial sex workers, and fall prey to sexual and physical exploitation, further exposing them to AIDS and other STDs, both becoming victims and carriers of the disease.  The health service coverage of the zone is not significant, and only 3 health centers 18 clinics and 13 health posts were available 1987 E.C.

The KMG offers the women of the region, the most neglected of all, the opportunity to educate themselves and become active members of the society in overcoming poverty and malnutrition.  If you would like to help the KMG reach out for the poor and specially to marginalized women of this region, please contact representatives Boge and Bridget using the addresses below.

If you would like to support KMG and its activities, please send me email by clicking here or contact Boge Gebre, The founder of KMG-Tope:

     Boge Gebre, Executive Secretary
     Kembatti Mentti Gezzima- Tope
     Post Office Box 13438
     Addis Ababa, ETHIOPIA
     TEL : (251-1) 51-17-40
     FAX : (251- 1) 51-15-49

     Contact Person in the US:
     Bridget McBride
     TEL: (323)651-1336
     FAX: (323)651-0921