The Republic of Kenya is located across the equator in east Africa at latitudes of 6°S to 6°N with a land area of 582,646 km2. Kenya shares its border with Somalia and the Indian Ocean on the east, Uganda on the west, Ethiopia and Sudan on the north, and Tanzania on the south. Its tropical climate is moderated by its topography, which rises from coastal plains to the eastern edge of the East African Plateau and the Great Rift Valley. Kenya’s climate varies from tropical along the coast to arid in the interior, and two-thirds of its area, mainly in the north, is arid. The major rivers in Kenya are the Tana and Athi that flow southeast to the Indian Ocean. Other rivers are the Ewaso Ngiro, flowing northeast to the swamps of the Lorian Plain, and the Nzoia, Yala and Gori, which drain into Lake Victoria. Kenya’s total population in 2009 was estimated to be 39.8 million. Its population growth of 2.6% is substantially below that of the early 1980s when the growth rate reached 4% (which, at the time, was the highest in the world1). Approximately 31 million Kenyans live in rural areas where the growth rate is about 2.2%, while the urban population is about 8 million, with a growth rate of about 4%.3 The country’s population density is about 59 people per sq km with extremely uneven distribution; most of the population is highly concentrated in the central and western regions, which contain the most fertile agricultural areas. The Kenyan economy is market-based, with some state owned infrastructure enterprises, and is highly dependent on rainfed agriculture and tourism. The agriculture sector employs about 75% of the country's population. Per capita GDP of Kenya in 2000 was US$404, and, in 2007, GDP increased to about US$720. Economic growth has been on the rise from about US$7 billion in 1980 to about US$29 billion in 2007, with 7% GDP growth in 2007. The major contributors towards GDP were services (58.2%), agriculture (22.75%), industry (19%) and manufacturing (11.8%).
Selected Indicators for Impacts and Vulnerabilities