The Bayso and the Haro are two small groups of note more than 3500 and 200 people respectively, living in Southern Ethiopia. They live together on Gidiccho Island, the biggest island of Lake Abbaya. Lake Abbaya and the neighboring Chamo Lake represent the largest lacustrine system of the Ethiopian Rift Valley.

The study area, Gidiccho Island and various Bayso and Haro settlements along the western shore of Lake Abbaya, belongs to Mirab Abaya Woreda (district) of the Gamo-Gofa Zone (capital: Arba Minch), the Southern Nations Nationalities’ Region of Ethiopia (SNNPR).

On Gidiccho Island, the Haro village is located in the middle of the east coast, half way between two Bayso villages, with Shigima village at the northern tip, and Bayso village at the southern tip of the island. While in the island the two groups live on clearly separated terrains, at the western shore of Lake Abbaya, Bayso and Haro live next to each other in Alge, and with members of other ethnic groups in Wajifo and Shinkiko. Some Bayso live together with others in K’eme, Chink’ile and Jigeesa.

The settlement areas at the shore are near to the administrative town of Mirab Abbaya. Their closeness plays an important role in Bayso and Haro everyday life, as both groups frequently visit the weekly market in town, rely on medical services, and send their children to secondary schools.

Primary School on Gidiccho Island

View to the Eastern shores of Lake Abbaya

Returning home after a day at the market

One part of the Alge village

A house in Alge

A house in the Bayso village on Gidiccho Island