oa East African Geographical Review - Migration, settlement and occupance on the Kano Plains of western Kenya



The Kano Plains lie at the head of the Kavirondo Gulf near Kisumu, western Kenya, over 200 miles by tarmac road from Nairobi.1 They are hemmed in by the surrounding highland areas which show faulted, scarped edges in close juxtaposition with the Plains themselves - which lie between 3,750 feet and 4,000 feet above sea level.2 The area suffers from intractable, alluvial soils which have very poor drainage, together with overpopulation problems and years of drought and periodic flooding.3 Following the most disastrous floods in local living memory in 1962, a pilot irrigation scheme has been started on the Plains, following on the Kenya government's promise to do something about this overpopulated area. With Kenya's population increasing at 3% per annum (1962 census estimates) and over half the country classed as semi-arid it is very important that problem areas like the Kano Plains should come under close scrutiny.


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