Kakamega County is located in the Western part of Kenya and borders Vihiga County to the South, Siaya County to the West, Bungoma and Trans Nzoia Counties to the North and Nandi and Uasin Gishu Counties to the East.
kakamega county covers an area of 3,051.3 KM2 and is the second populous county after Nairobi with the largest rural population. The altitude of the county is between 1,240 metres and 2,000 metres above sea level.
The altitudes of Kakamega County range from 1,240 metres to 2,000 metres above sea level. The southern part of Kakamega county is hilly and is made up of rugged granites rising in places to 1,950 metres above sea level. The Nandi Escarpment forms a prominent feature on the county’s eastern border, with its main scarp rising from the general elevation of 1,700 metres to 2,000 metres. There are also several hills in the county such as Misango, Imanga, Eregi, Butieri, Sikhokhochole, Mawe Tatu, Lirhanda, Kiming’ini hills among others.
There are two main ecological zones in Kakamega County namely; the Upper Medium (UM) and the Lower Medium (LM). The Upper Medium covers the Central and Northern parts of the county such as Ikolomani, Lurambi, Malava, Navakholo and Shinyalu that practice intensive maize, tea, beans and horticultural production mainly on small scale; and Lugari and Likuyani where large-scale farming is practised. The second ecological zone, the Lower Medium (LM), covers a major portion of the southern part of the county which includes Butere, Khwisero, Mumias East, Mumias West and Matungu. In this zone, the main economic activity is sugarcane production with some farmers practising maize, sweet potatoes, tea, groundnuts and cassava production.
The annual rainfall in Kakamega county ranges from 1280.1mm to 2214.1 mm per year. The rainfall pattern is evenly distributed all year round with March and July receiving heavy rains while December and February receive light rains. The temperatures range from 18 0C to 29 0C. January, February and March are the hottest months with other months having relatively similar temperatures except for July and August which have relatively cold spells
Kakamega county has an average humidity of 67 per cent. Since the early 1960s, both minimum (night) and maximum (day) temperatures have been on a warming trend throughout Kenya. Current projections indicate increases in temperature.
Recent trends show a marked increase in inter-annual variability and distribution of rains, with an increase in the number of consecutive dry days and shorter but more intense periods of rainfall resulting in an increase in the frequency of floods. Future climate change may lead to a change in the frequency or severity of such extreme weather events, potentially worsening impacts. Increased average temperatures and changes in annual and seasonal rainfall will be felt across key economic sectors, such as agricultural production, health status, water availability, energy use, infrastructure, biodiversity and ecosystem services (including forestry and tourism). Impacts are likely to have disproportionate effects on the poor as such groups have fewer resources to adapt to climatic change and vulnerability.
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