County Headquarters: Lamu
Population: 109,539 (2009 Census)
The County is mainly Cosmopolitan and is inhabited by indigenous communities such as Swahilis, Arabs, Koreni, Boni and Ormas. There are also migrant communities from the rest of the country.
The main economic activities in the county include crop production, livestock production, fisheries, tourism and mining.
The current governor is Fahim Yasin Twaha (Jubilee)
Lamu County Constituencies
The county has 2 constituencies:
- Lamu West
- Lamu East
Lamu County is located in the Northern Coast of Kenya and is one of the Six Coastal Counties in Kenya. It borders Tana River County in the southwest, Garissa County to the north, Republic of Somalia to the northeast and the Indian Ocean to the South. It lies 1° 40’ and 2° 30’south and longitude 40° 15’ and 40° 38’south. The County has a land surface of 6,273.1 km that include the mainland and over 65 islands that form the Lamu Archipelago. The total length of the coastline is 130 km while land water mass area stands at 308 km.
The County has 2 constituencies namely Lamu West and Lamu East. These two also consist of the two districts referred to as the sub-counties in Lamu County. Lamu West has Amu Mkomani, Shela, Hindi, Mkunumbi, Hongwe, Bahari and Witu Divisions while Lamu East has Faza, Basuba and Kiunga divisions. There are 10 wards, 23 locations, and 38 sub-locations in the County.
Lamu County’s population is 143,920 according to the Kenya Population and Housing Census (KPHC). This makes the county the least populous in Kenya.
The governor of Lamu County is Issa Timamy and the County Commissioner is Joseph Kanyiri
The main economic activities in the county include crop production, livestock production, fisheries, tourism and mining, most notably quarrying. Among the challenges facing Lamu is population growth owing to migration into Lamu from other parts of the country, fuelled partly by the anticipated opportunities accruing from the Lamu Port South Sudan-Ethiopia Transport (LAPSSET) Corridor. Other challenges include landlessness and poor land management, insufficient social services such as healthcare and education, inadequate supply of piped and fresh water, under-developed infrastructure, and food insecurity.
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The county is made of cosmopolitan population composed of indigenous communities made of Swahilis, Arabs, Koreni, Boni and Ormas and migrant communities from the rest of the country. The LAPSSET project is expected to attract a huge migrant population estimated to be over one million. This will certainly overstretch the county’s social services necessitating commensurate development planning for adequate service provision.
The Arabic culture has had the greatest influence in shaping Swahili traditions. One major legacy of the Arab culture is the prevalence of the Islamic religion among the Swahili people. Islamic traditions govern nearly every aspect of the Swahili tribe’s culture, including food, clothing and lifestyle. Swahili children, for example, must attend Madrassa – religious classes in which they study the Koran and learn the Arabic language – from an early age. Unlike other Kenyan tribes, there are no specific rites of passage for young Swahili men and women.
Marriage marks the transition to adulthood. Swahili marriages are usually arranged by the parents. Though the bride’s parents will normally choose a groom for their daughter, she has the right to refuse her parents’ choice and select her own groom. Swahili weddings last several days and involve elaborate preparations, ceremonies and activities for both men and women. Only men are allowed in the mosque for the official marriage vows.
VILLAGES AND SETTLEMENTS