In Summary
  • The high population growth rate and insatiable demand for land has led to frequent land-related conflicts and encroachment on public spaces and protected areas.

  • Kisii had an estimated 1.1 million people in 2009, when the last census was conducted.

  • Nyamira has a high population density of about 700 people per square kilometre.

The rising population and bad terrain have conspired to pose a new challenge to Kisii and Nyamira counties, who may need more land for expansion of their urban centres.

The high population growth rate and insatiable demand for land has led to frequent land-related conflicts and encroachment on public spaces and protected areas.

Kisii had an estimated 1.1 million people in 2009, when the last census was conducted. It is estimated that has risen to 1.36 million by now. Nyamira is estimated to host 650,000 people.

Land sizes in the counties have continued to shrink as people sub-divide their plots.

Kisii measures about 1,318km² while Nyamira is about 912.5km² and, with the continued rise in population, residents have been forced to look for land in other counties, in a bid to satisfy their thirst for ownership and use.

Nyamira has a high population density of about 700 people per square kilometre.

This average is, however, less because of the availability of tracts of land that have tea farming multinationals, forest cover and agricultural settlement schemes.

INHERITANCE

Traditionally, residents sub-divide land to distribute among their sons as part of their inheritance. But this has hindered meaningful large-scale investments and agribusiness.

Most residents in both counties occupy less than an eighth of land, leaving no room for commercial agriculture.

It is in Nyamira’s Borabu constituency where people own more than 10 acres of land, with affluent families owning more than 50 acres.

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