Lamu County has a population of 101,539 and an area of 6,273.1km2. Founded in the 14th Century, Lamu Island which is part of the County is one of the original Swahili settlements along the coast of Eastern Africa with tourism being a major economic activity.
Location: Located in the northern coast of Kenya. It borders the following counties; Garissa to the North, The Indian Ocean to the South and South East, and Tana River to the South West and West.
Area (Km 2): 6,273.1 Km 2
Climate/Weather: The average temperature is 27.3 °C and rainfall averages 950mm per annum.
Road Network: Bitumen Surface (6 Km), Gravel Surface (161.1 Km), Earth Surface (521.5 Km)
- Lamu east
- Lamu west
Population: 101,539 (Male – 52 %, Female – 48 %)
Population Density: 16 people per Km 2
National Percentage: 0.26 %
Annual Growth Rate: 2.47 %
Age Distribution: 0-14 years (41.7 %), 15-64 years (54.8 %), 65+ years (3.5 %)
Number of Households: 22,184
Boni - Dodori National Reserve, Lamu Museum, Lamu Fort, Siyu Fort, Takwa Ruins, Swahili House, German Post Office, Lamu Old Town, Kiunga Marine National Reserve
- Agriculture: The district has 959,000ha of agricultural land with the overall average for farms being 4ha each. Though agriculture supports 73.6% of the population in the district, only 20% of the local farmers have land title deeds. The major crops grown include maize, sorghum, cow peas, cassava, green grams, bananas, mangoes, cotton, coconut and bixa.
- Livestock and Farming: Livestock keeping is widespread in the area providing livelihood for about 30% of the population both directly and indirectly. Poultry farming and bee keeping is also practiced in the county.
- Fishing: The County produces over 1,500 metric tons of fish annually valued at kshs.111.8 million; 75% of which is from marine fishing.
- Forestry: The gazetted forest area in Lamu is about 50,093.4ha of land 85% of which is of mangrove forests. Some communities in Lamu, e.g. the Bajuni, depend on mangrove harvesting as their main source of income. The main forest products are: timber, mangrove poles, fuel wood, charcoal, and casuarinas poles.
- Mining: Like most coastal areas in Kenya, Lamu is rich in minerals like titanium, salt, limestone, coral stones, sands and cement. The main sand and ballast quarrying sites in Lamu are in Manda, Matondoni, Lake Kenyatta, Kizingitini and Faza.
- Tourist Attractions: Boni- Dodori National Reserve, Takwa Ruins, Kiunga Marine National Reserve, Pate Ruins, Manda Island, Matondoni Dhow making village, Maulidi Festival, and Lamu Cultural Festival.
Source: KNBS census 2009
- Employed - are those people that are working
- Not employed - are those people that are potential employees but have not secured any form of employment.
- Economically inactive - are the non-working age that comprises of very old and young people in the population.
- Unclassified - the population that had not indicated their economic category.
- Poverty Level: 31.6%
- Number of Institutions (2007): Primary (70), Secondary (11)
- Primary Teacher to Pupil Ratio: 1:57 (Public Schools)
- Secondary Teacher to Pupil Ratio: 1:35 (Public Schools)
- Through Vision 2030, the Government of Kenya (GOK) has expressed plans to undertake a multipurpose transport and communication corridor known as the ‘Lamu Port-South Sudan-Ethiopia Transport (LAPSSET) Corridor. LAPSSET will consist of a standard gauge railway line, a port, a super highway, a regional international airport, an ultra-modern tourist resort, an oil pipeline, and a fibre-optic cable constructed to link Lamu to Juba and Addis Ababa.
- The anticipated development of Lamu Port has placed the county into focus by investors prospecting business opportunities. The new Lamu Port will consist of 750 acres with 10 container terminal berths and three bulk cargo berths, an oil jetty and an international airport.
- Other components of the project will be a three-lined, 1.4m gauge railway for high speed trains for Lamu – Isiolo-South Sudan (1,400km), Nairobi-Isiolo-Moyale-Addis Ababa (1,596km) and Lamu – Mombasa (350km).
- Also proposed are three oil pipeline stretching to South Sudan border via Lamu-Isiolo (1,500km); Nairobi-Isiolo-Moyale-Addis Ababa (1,400km) a branch link to Lamu to the current Mombasa-Kampala pipeline.
- Professionals and businessmen are swarming the ancient town to give it a major makeover. The key industries expected to sprout here range from shipping, logistics, banking & insurance and real estate ventures.
- Presence of the Mangrove forest presents a biodiversity edge.
- It is among the most promising areas along the Kenyan coast with hydrocarbon potential. Gas has already been discovered in the Lamu Basin. This is the first discovery of gas in Kenya at a depth of 2,553 meters. The exploring firm plans to continue drilling up to a depth of 3,275 meters.
- Has one of the highest household mean size in the country
- There are widespread evictions by ranch owners in the area
- High insecurity as a result of the Al-Shaabab terror threat.
Health Facilities: 42 - District Hospitals (1), Sub-District Hospitals (2), Dispensaries (20), Health Centres (5), Medical Clinics (13), Nursing Home (1)
Doctor to Population Ratio: 1:36,343
Infant Mortality Rates: 72/1000
Under Five Mortality Rates: 123/1000
Prevalent Diseases: Malaria, Respiratory Tract Infections and Skin Diseases.
Notable Hospitals: Lamu District Hospital, Faza Hospital, Mpeketoni Sub-District Hospital
- Prevalent Diseases: Malaria, Respiratory Tract Infections and Skin Diseases, HIV/ AIDS.
The HIV/AIDS prevalence in the county in comparison to other coastal counties is as shown below: