Kenya Geography Blog Post
Kenya, which rests on the eastern side of Africa, encompasses 580,367 sq feet and features some of Africa’s most diverse landscapes and homes 44 million people. On the eastern part, Kenya enjoys flatlands in the east with mountainous conditions in west. The tallest mountain of the western mountain range is Mt. Kenya which is around 5199m (17,059ft). The Eastern Rift Valley, part of the Great Rift Valley (3700ft), runs through this same mountain range and is the deepest part of the whole Great Rift Valley. With the Inter-Tropical Convergence Zone having a varing, but predictable pattern, Kenya usually receives most of its rain near this area as well, leaving the eastern part of the country with an arid condition most of the year. The Kenyan Highlands region, also in the west, is considered some of the most fertile land in all of Kenya.
The land of Kenya used for crop production remains small in comparison with its size. Of all 569,140 square feet of land, only 9.48% of it is planted on seasonally and another 1.12% is continuously used for crop production. Making it even more difficult is only .18% of Kenya’s land has irrigation capabilities, which balks in comparison to the U.S. which has irrigation in 2.9% of its land. The land also provides resources such as gold, muck, coal, magnesium chloride mineral, calcined soda. The land is also known for its oil, it delivered 7 out of 10 of last year’s top finds.
Kenya has many forms of communication such as Americans do. Kenya is home to the first country to have a web based internet service in Africa; however, only 3.9 million of the 44 million have internet access at home, and is lacking mainly in rural areas. There are only 250,000 land line telephones in Kenya, but over 30 million have cellular phones. Their cell phone tech is a little bit behind with the majority having flip phones, but the popularity of smart phones are increasing as the internet improves. Television and radio are not sufficient or popular means of communication. There are only 90 FM radio stations, but the number of private radio stations is growing, with many smaller stations broadcasting in local languages. If you are one of the lucky few in Kenya to own a television you will at best have 12 channels while most others typically only get 6.
A primary means of a government owned transportation system is the Kenya Railway. It was created in 1977 and is based off of the original Uganda railway. The railroad spreads across 1,284 miles and provides commuters with 180 stations. The only significant waterway in the country is the part of Lake Victoria within the boundaries of Kenya. Kisumu is the main port and has ferry connections to Uganda and Tanzani. Kenya has 39 airports, but only 15 of those have paved runways. The country has 99,970 miles of road available with 6,953 miles of them being unpaved. There are two main highways that pass through the country: the Cairo-Cape Town Highway and the Lagos-Mombasa Highway. Ports are an important means of shipping and the Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) is responsible for maintaining, operating, improving, and regulating all scheduled seaports on the Indian Ocean coastline of Kenya. In 2014, the KPA signed $478 million with China Communication Construction Company for the construction of three Lamu port berths.
Kenya is still behind the United States in many aspects, but the country is improving and growing at its own pace. There are continuous improvements from internet capabilities to new ports. It certainly faces challenges like having 9.48% arable land compared to the US amount of 16.29%, but Kenya still finds uses for the land and the items under it. It various minerals make a path for future opportunities and gains, especially with its oil catching many organizations attention. As long as Kenya continues to make strides of improvement and using what the country has to its benefit, then it will continue to grow.