RESEARCH

Formalisation of Nomadic Urbanism 
Ganda Dabaraa

Dire Dawa, Ethiopia

The Afar are nomadic pastoralists of Ethiopia who trade their prized livestock and salt in Dire Dawa city during the dry season. They informally settle and trade on the Dachatu riverbed which fills up during the rainy season washing away memories of the transient Afar. This project seeks to formalise this informal settlement using memory of the geography and settled groups such as the Harar and Oromo peoples. 

 

Firstly, housing form work on the riverbed offers the Afar a hub for their seasonal visits. By allowing the river to flow through the site during the rainy season, the urbanised population are reminded of Afar’s the seasonal visits. 

 

The second proposal is short-term housing along the river edge with some scattered in the urban fabric to further strengthen connection between the nomadic and urban populations. This housing accommodates those who wish to stay for longer periods of time. Lastly, is housing with shop-fronts along the river wall. The wall is the city’s solution to mitigate against flooding whilst maintaining connection. This housing encourages the Afar to have a long-term base in Dire Dawa and to increase the frequency and volume of trading.