LAMU COUNTY REVIEW
Lamu county is located in the North eastern part of coast of Kenya. It covers an area of 6,273.1 kilometres squared making it one of the largest counties in the coastal region. It borders Garissa County to the North.
POPULATION OF LAMU COUNTY
According to the census program that was carried out in 2009 the total population of Lamu county is 101,539, 19.9 % of the total population resides in the urban areas in the county while the rest of the population live in the sub-urban areas of the county.
There are only two constituencies in Lamu county namely:
- Lamu West Constituency
- Lamu East Constituency
Lamu county has only one district named Lamu District.
GEOGRAPGHY AND CLIMATE
Lamu county is very close to the Indian Ocean which contributes to its weather patterns. The average temperatures experienced here is 27.3 degrees Celsius. High temperatures are experienced between January and April while the cold temperatures are usually experienced between June and September.
The average amount of rainfall is 900mm annually. The rains are usually experienced between the months of April-July while low rainfall is received in October to December. The area is usually hot and dry in most times if the years.
SETTLEMETS IN LAMU COUNTY
The soils in the area are sandy with low water holding capacity and low humus content. This hinders the area from practising crop farming. Average altitude of Lamu county is 19 feet above the sea level, it is generally flat hence soil erosion is not a problem.
Strong wind from the sea are experienced in the area especially during the evening and afternoon hours. Property and lives have being lost as a result of these winds.
Poor soils and unreliable rainfall hinders the growth of certain crops in this county. Crops grown in this region are well adapted to the conditions; this includes mangoes, Cashewnuts and Simsim. The farming is usually practised on small scale levels due to the small land sizes in the area.
Livestock farming is the dominant agricultural activity carried here due to the suitability of the region to this kind of activity. It is usually carried out on small scale due to lack of enough land, pastures and water for many animals. This sector provides animal products such as milk and meat for the residents. Animals kept in the county include cattle, goats, sheep and donkeys.
According to a survey carried out on all the counties, Lamu County was ranked number seven as one of the richest counties in the country. The poverty level in this county is 31.6% while age dependency ratio is 100:82.
Tourism is one of the economic activities here due to the many tourist attraction sites in the region that attract both local and international tourists. Examples of sites include Pate Ruins, Lamu Cultural Festival, National Monuments, Manda Island, Matondoni Dhow making village and Maulindi Festival.
There is a wide variety of marine wildlife that also attracts many tourists who come to study this animal species. Entrepreneurs have also established various commercial businesses such as hotels and retail shops hence residents are able to get easy access to their basic needs.
Residents also practise fishing in the ocean, the fish is sold locally and in Mombasa. Fishermen mainly use small boats and fishing nets to carry out the activity.
There are three micro-finance and two commercial banks in the region that provide affordable financial services to the area residents.
The government has established many learning institutions in Lamu county in a bid to alienate literacy and promote economic growth in the county. There are a total of eleven high schools and seventy primary schools in the county. These schools are able to accommodate all the students in the county but still the government needs to build more schools so as to cater for the increasing population.
Good health of the community is paramount for economic growth of any geographical area. There is a total of 42 district hospitals, 20 dispensaries, 5 health centres and 13 mediacal clinics that provide affordable and quality health services. Government and non-governmental organisations need to equip these health facilities with all the latest equipments so as to meet the health needs of Lamu county effectively.