Kenya is a country in the continent of Africa, on the Indian Ocean coast of East Africa. This country has land on both sides of the equator. This report is going to tell
you all about this fascinating country. Jambo (Hello), and we can begin our safari (journey). “Jambo” and “safari” are Kiswahili words, one of the languages of Kenya.
Kenya is about two times the size of Nevada. It’s slightly smaller than Texas and slightly larger than California, our 2nd and 3rd largest states respectively. The countries that border Kenya are Ethiopia, Sudan, Somalia, Tanzania, and Uganda. Kenya is not landlocked because the Indian Ocean borders Kenya to its right. Kenya is in both the northern and eastern hemispheres.
Some major landforms in Kenya include the Kenyan Highlands, Mt. Kenya, the Great Rift Valley, Mau Escarpment, and Mt. Marsabit. The highest elevation is Mount Kenya at 17,057 feet, which is also one of the tallest in Africa. The capital of Kenya is Nairobi. The distance from Nairobi (the capital of Kenya) to Washington D.C. is 7,548 miles.
The geography of Kenya supplies some advantages. One area that displays this is the highlands. The highlands provide Kenya with one of the best agricultural regions in Africa. There is rich soil and fertile ground. There is plentiful rainfall and mild climate perfect for farming. High altitude is also great for growing coffee and tea. Kenya is the 4th largest tea producer in the world. Farming provides jobs to the people that live there.
Exporting crops such as coffee and tea help provide money in the country. The one and only type of natural vegetation in Kenya is tropical grassland. They have no active volcanoes, but a few centuries ago Mt. Kenya was a volcano. The distance from Nairobi, the capital of Kenya, to the equator is approximately 216 miles.
The climate of Kenya is varied. However, overall, the one-month it rains the most in Kenya is in April when they get 6.3 inches. The average temperature in January is about 68 degrees while in July it’s 63 degrees. The many climates in Kenya include tropical wet, tropical wet and dry, arid, and semiarid. Arid is a dry region and receives approximately 5 inches of rain per year. In the summer Kenya gets .6 inches of rain and in the winter receives .1 inches. The temperature in the summer is 81 degrees Fahrenheit and the winter about 55 degrees Fahrenheit. Semiarid is considered a dry climate type. Summers average 79 degrees Fahrenheit and in the winter averages 51 degrees
Fahrenheit. The yearly rainfall is 10 inches in the summer 3.4 and .2 in the winter. Tropical wet and dry is considered a tropical climate. It’s hot all year, averaging 79 degrees all year. It receives about 50 inches of rainfall per year with 10 inches in the summer and .2 inches in the winter.
I will now tell you about the history of Kenya before European exploration. Early tribal groups have started to settle in Kenya as far back as 2000 BC. The main reason
tribes came here was for the rich, fertile ground, which would be good for farming. Both the highlands and the Rift Valley provided this in southern Kenya. The first migrants to arrive were pastoral nomads from Ethiopia who were in search of fertile ground, which they could use to graze their flocks. They were soon forced to leave and go into central Tanzania because of the climate changes over the centuries and water had begun to be scarce. The Yaaku, or Eastern Cushites, came 1,000 years later and settled in central Kenya. It seems that the Yaaku had been the leader and many more tribes came as the followers and by 100 AD there has been nearly 1,400 pastoral communities in the Rift Valley region.
Next, I will tell you about the people of Kenya. The population of Kenya is 31,138,735 people. There are 2,310,000 people living in Nairobi. The population density is 139 people per square miles in Kenya. Kenya is rural in most areas, but urban in the capital. The official language of Kenya is English and Kiswahili (Swahili). The major ethnic group of Kenya is Kikuyu, which makes up 22% of the population. The major religion of Kenya is Protestant. 45% of the people follow the Protestant religion. The literacy rate in Kenya is 78.1% overall. Males are 86.3% literate, and women are 70% literate. Many areas lack good education. The life expectancy for women is 48 while the men are expected to life to 46. The population trend is growing greatly at 1.15% per year. One major illness that Kenyans suffer greatly from is HIV/AIDS.
I will now tell you about the economy. The major type of economic activity is agriculture including herding and farming. Approximately 75-80% of the working population are in agriculture. It is a primary activity. The main agricultural product is tea. Kenya relies on coffee, tea, and flowers as their limited amount of cash crops. Although they have areas for farming, due to the large population and climate and weather problems, Kenya suffers with both starvation and famine. Some of their leading exports include coffee, tea, and flowers. They have a trade deficit with 3.1 million dollars imported and 1.8 million dollars exported. The major trading partners with Kenya are UK, Tanzania, and Uganda. The major imports Kenya receives are machinery and transportation equipment, petroleum products, motor vehicles, iron and steel, resins, and plastics. The per capita GDP is $1,000 per person. The major natural resource is hydroelectric power. Other natural resources include gold, limestone, soda ash, salt barites, garnets, and rubies. The currency is called a Kenyan Schilling. A US dollar is worth 77 Kenyan Schillings.
I will now tell you about the politics and government of Kenya. The type of government in Kenya is a republic. Recently, the government has not changed. The current leader of Kenya is President Mwal Kibaki. The date Kenya was granted its independence was on December 12th, 1963. The country got its name when Europeans mispronounced the name Kikuyu (what Kenya was then called) for Kenya. The same occurred with the name for Mt. Kenya. There have been no recent civil wars. The ambassador to the US is Yusuf Abdulraham. The name of the major political party is the Forum for the Restoration of Democracy also known as FORD. The international organizations Kenya is a part of include the UN (The United Nations), IMF (International Monetary Fund), WB (World Bank), OAU (Organization of African Unity), and ISO (International Organization of Standardization).
The flag of Kenya has many meanings. The shield represents the pride and tradition of Kenya. The black represents the people. The red represents the blood. Green represents the fertile ground. Finally, the white represents peace.
I feel that Kenya is still in the developing stage. Much of the area is rural, with an increasing population, particularly in and around the capital. They have many citizens with HIV AIDS, and have many more suffering from starvation. One strength that Kenya has is that they get 40 inches of rainfall per year. That makes it good for farming, in the areas that they can farm. Another strength is the high altitude and Great Rift Valley that not only allows tea and coffee to grow, but it offers more jobs, which is important with a high population density country like Kenya to have.
I think that Kenya will not improve in the future unless they reduce the incidence of Aids and eliminate starvation. Due to limited education, lack of a cure for Aids, and weather conditions that cannot be controlled, the future does not look very promising for Kenya.