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Tana River District

Related subjects: African Geography

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Tana River District
—  District  —
Tana River District is located in Kenya
Tana River District
Location of Tana River District
Coordinates: 1°30′S 40°0′E Coordinates: 1°30′S 40°0′E
Country Kenya
Province Coast Province
 • Total 38,446 km2 (14,844 sq mi)
Population (1999)
 • Total 180,901
Time zone EAT ( UTC+3)

Tana River District is a district of Coast Province, Kenya. It is named after the Tana River itself. It has an area of 38,446 km² and a population of 180,901 according to the 1999 census. The district capital is Hola (sometimes called as Galole).

The major ethnic groups are the Pokomo, many of whom are farmers, and the Orma and Wardey, who are predominantly nomadic. The district is generally dry and prone to drought. Rainfall is erratic, with rainy seasons in March-May and October-December. Conflicts have occurred between farmers and nomadic peoples over access to water. Flooding is also a regular problem, caused by heavy rainfall in upstream areas of the Tana River.

Tana River district presents an interesting case of the nexus between conflict and food security. A recent survey prepared by ALMRP, Tana River District and presented to the Tana River District Steering Group (2004) found that the district is 79% food insecure and with an incidence of poverty at 62 % (Interim Poverty Strategy Paper (I-PSP), 2000-2003, Kenya). Tana River district comprises several areas of forest, woodland and grassland which are minor centres of endemism. The forests are designated National Reserve status if they have >4 plant endemics and >7 vertebrate endemics (IUCN, 2003). Despite the apparent adequate natural resources, the region remains marginalised from the rest of the country. Efforts at development always seem to centre around the huge River Tana, despite massive failures in all the previous irrigation projects in the district i.e. Bura, Hola and the Tana delta rice irrigation project which failed after the water works were damaged by the el nino rains in 1998.

District subdivisions

Despite large area of the Tana River district, its only local authority is Tana River County Council. The district has three constituencies: Garsen, Galole and Bura.

Administrative divisions
Division Population* Urban
Area (km²) Headquarters
Bangale 14,853 0 2 x
Bura 28,848 0 6 x Bura
Galole 34,948 9,383 4 x Hola
Garsen 51,592 4,885 4 x Garsen
Kipini 16,243 0 19 x Kipini
Madogo 21,731 0 12 x
Wenje 12,686 0 23 x Wenje
Total 180,901 14,268 5 (average) x
* 1999 census. Sources:
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