Location and Size
Lamu county is located in the northern coast of Kenya and is one of the six counties in the coastal region of Kenya. It borders Tana River county to the southwest, Garissa county to the north, Republic of Somalia to the northeast and the Indian ocean to the south. The county has a land surface area of 6.273.1 Km squire that includes the mainland and over 65 Islands that form the Lamu Archipelago. The number of households who have title deeds stand at 13000. 13000 is 42% of the total land. A large portion of land in the county remains unregistered. This include areas in Kiunga, Faza, parts of Hindi, Manda Island, Witu and Bahari. Most of these areas are ancestral land. The government is hastening the process of resettlement whose aim is to conserve the Swahili village in the county.
Number of Ranches
There are 20 ranches/grazing reserves in the county which can be classified in four categories: Operational ranches which are five cover 65620 hectares, non- operational ranches cover 81420 hectares, idle ranches cover 56000 hectares, proposed ranches cover 56000 hectares
Population size and Composition
The projected population 2012 stood at 112,251 people. 58641 are male while 53610 are female. The population is projected to increase to 124092 and 137180 between 2015 and 2017 respectively.
Physical and Topographic Features
The county is generally flat lies between altitude Zero and fifty meters above sea level. The low altitude exposes some parts of the county to flooding during the rainy seasons. These flood prone areas are: around Lake Kenyatta in Mpeketoni, along Tana River delta such as Chalaluma in Witu and areas on the coastal line that experience floods during the high tides. The main topographic features found in the county include: the coastal plains, island plains, Dodori River plain, the Indian Ocean and the sand dunes.
There are four major catchment areas each with unique characteristics. They are: Dodori, coastal zone, Duldul, the Lamu bay drainage and Tana River catchments. The county has no permanent river but only few seasonal streams which flow from the west towards the south eastern part of the county, with non reaching the sea. The only permanent open water site in the county is Lake Kenyatta in Mpeketoni which has been known to dry during exceptionally dry years.
The county experiences no marked variation in temperatures with annual temperature ranging between 23 Celsius and 32 Celsius. The high temperatures are experienced from December to April while low temperatures occur from May to July. The annual mean temperature in the county is 27 Celsius. There is a bimodal rainfall pattern with long rains occurring from mid April to the end of June with the highest rainfall recorded in the month of May. The long rains agricultural output account for 80% of the annual crop production. Short rains occur in the month of November and December but generally unreliable. Kiunga receives 540 mm annually, Faza and Kizingitini Division 550 mm to 850 mm with Mpeketoni receiving 850 mm to 1110 mm annually.
The county has two constituencies namely: Lamu west and Lamu east. The county has 10 County Assembly Wards. Lamu west constituency has seven while Lamu east has three Wards. Lamu west Wards are: Shella, Mkomani, Hindi, Mkunumbi, Hongwe, Witu and Baharini. Lamu east Wards are: Faza, Kiunga and Busuba.
Infrastructure and Access
The county physical infrastructure has remained underdeveloped. The county has a total road network of 688.6 Km with only 6 Km in bitumen standard. This makes most of the roads rendered impassable during the rainy season. The main roads in the county are Mokowe – Garsen, Mokowe – Kiunga.
There are 8 jetties in the county which are mostly found in Amu Division. They include: Amu, Mokowe, Manda, Matondoni, Lamu customs, Fisheries and Hospital jetty. Amu and Mokowe jetties are in fairly good condition and are used by passangers, fishermen and loading goods coming in and out of the Island. The Lamu – Faza seaway is a major transport route in the county but the dredged part near Manda remains a dangerous part for sea users due to the unfinished works which stalled in 2005
The county has 13 airstrips, 11 public and 2 private airstrips. Manda airstrip is the main airstrip being used by passengers in the county. Other airstrips in the county include: Manda point 11, Manda Bay Naval, Mokowe, Kiunga, Kiwayu Island and Kiwayu mainland (Mkokoni) which are fairly maintained. Other airstrips are: Witu, Mkunumbi, Faza, Kizingitini are under bad condition. Tenewi and Mangai are closed due to the LAPSSET project.
Non – Governmental Organizations
There are 19 active Non- Governmental Organizations operating in the county. They are involved in various activities that include: capacity building, civic education, poverty eradication, HIV and Aids campaigns, women empowerment, disaster preparedness and protection of marine ecosystem. These NGOs include: APHIA Plus, ANIDAN, Zinduka Africa, AMREF and WWF
Self Help, Women and Youth Groups
There are 1345 self help groups, 421 women groups, 373 youth groups. These groups undertake a diverse range of activities which include: Youth Enterprise Development Fund, Women Enterprise Development Fund, Poverty Eradication Commission Fund, Drought Management Programme and Total War on HIV and Aids.