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600,000 poor in Nairobi region

Tuesday November 18 2008

Ms Mumbi Munithia fetches water from a broken

Ms Mumbi Munithia fetches water from a broken pipe under a drainage trench in Nairobi’s Mathare area. One in every three poor people in the city live in Kasarani and Embakasi constituencies. Photo/LIZ MUTHONI 

By DAVID MUGONYI

More than 600,000 people live in poverty in Nairobi Province, with Makadara being the poorest constituency, a Government report says.

However, one in every three poor people are found either in Kasarani or Embakasi constituencies.

About 30 per cent of residents in Makadara constituency are poor despite the overall poverty of Nairobi Province declining from 44 per cent in 1999 to 22 per cent in 2005/2006.

With 41,624 poor people, Westlands is the richest in the province, which has eight constituencies.

In Central Province, Kipipiri constituency is the poorest, with 59.3 per cent of the people living in poverty.

Although Kikuyu (Kabete) constituency is the richest with only 16.4 per cent poor people, Kangema contributes the least to the provincial poverty index.

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In the whole province with 29 constituencies, only Kipipiri and Kinangop have more than 50 per cent poor people.

But with 1.3 million poor people, one fifth are concentrated in three constituencies — Kinangop, Juja and Ol-Kaluo.

Poverty increased in all Nyandarua District constituencies, namely, Kinangop, Kipipiri, Ol-Kalou and Ndaragwa in the last five years although there was a decline in poverty nationally. But it decreased in all Kirinyaga District constituencies — Gichugu, Mwea, Ndia and Kerugoya/Kutus.

While the number of poor people was decreasing in other provinces, it went up from 57.8 per cent to 59 per cent at the Coast in the last six years.

Concentration

Kinango constituency is the poorest with about 87 per cent of the people staring poverty in the face, while only 25 per cent face a similar problem in Lamu East.

In Coast, 14 out of the 21 constituencies have more than half of the population living in poverty, contributing to 12 per cent of the national problem.

The 1.9 million poor people in the province come mainly from Bahari, Kaloleni, Msambweni, Kisauni, Malindi and Kinango constituencies.

The concentration of poor people in Msambweni and Kinango constituencies is extremely high as they contribute to every two people in 100 in the country.

More than 500, 000 at the Coast joined the poor during the period of study. Poverty increased in most constituencies in the province.