Ikutha is a town from the Sub-Sahara Africa punished by whips of the AIDS, the lack of water and educative and sanitary resources. During years there is no development worked against zones more disadvantaged and the international aids have still not arrived at this zone. This rural locality has only around 500 inhabitants and is located in the heart of Kenya already worn away by a government who has corrupted it for more than 20 years. It belongs to the region of Kitui that, in spite of its proximity to the capital, Nairobi, is one of the developed areas less of the country. Nothing else to arrive, after lengths and tedious kilometres of dust and pockets, great posters give the welcome you: Let’s talk, we speak. They are the mirror of a society that moved away of the new technologies, the telephone, and the running water and of the electricity, it has not been able to escape of which it has been the epidemic of century XX: the AIDS.

Over the last two decades, Kenya has been experiencing serious sequences of rain failure in arid and semi-arid lands (ASAL) that make up 70 percent of Kenya’s land mass. Floods have not been as frequent. A complete or partial failure of long or short rains is likely to occur an average of every three or four years. During the last 20 years, rain failure in the ASAL has occurred five times: 1976-78, 1982-84, 1992-94, 1996-97 and 2000. Even though floods have become less frequent, the 1997 short rain season in Kenya saw some of the most intense rainfall in 40 years. The ASAL districts experienced floods in 1970, 1974, 1984, 1991 and 1992, plus more severe floods in 1997 and 1998.

Though Kenya is predominantly an agricultural country, fertile, arable land is scarce and competition for resources often leads to conflict and environmental damage as land is overused. More than half of Kenya's 30 million people still live below the poverty line. Northern Kenya is facing food shortages because of recent drought. Kenya’s new government has promised economic reform and an end to corruption, giving many people hope for the future. Other challenges include: HIV/AIDS: Official statistics show that around 2 million Kenyans are living with HIV/AIDS. Poor livelihoods: Large numbers of people living in towns and cities have little or no employment; women are hardest hit, especially in rural areas. Environmental damage: climate change is causing insufficient and irregular rain and deforestation. Pollution in urban and industrial areas is also recognised as a major health problem. The Kitui Catholic Diocese’s Strengthening Water Supplies and Community Empowerment project, whichhas constructed a variety of water supply facilities, including rock catchments, sand dams, earth dams, storage tanks and shallow wells. The diocese’s other activities include training communities on HIV/AIDS, hygiene and sanitation and environmental conservation, as well as on management of community-owned water projects.

Four or five times in a decade drought and/or heavy rainfall are likely to cause increased morbidity and mortality rates among people and livestock in the ASAL. Pastoralists, the largest land users in the ASAL, are often forced during droughts to migrate with camels and cattle to traditional grazing areas in other districts or neighbouring countries, leaving sheep and goats behind. This causes acute shortages of traditional food – milk, blood and meat – for family members left behind (mainly children and women), leading to widespread undernutrition and high rates of malnutrition. Additionally, there are increasing cases of health-related problems associated with lowered resistance to disease arising from the population’s declining nutrition status, as well as problems related to the use of contaminated water from drying water pans. The failure of the short rains in 1995 and long rains in 1996 not only inhibited regeneration of vegetation, it failed to replenish water pans and dams, diminishing levels of natural water sources and boreholes for humans and livestock. The latest drought severely affected about 4.1 million people. The 1997-98 floods affected populations that had just begun the long process of recovery from the severe drought of 1995-96. ASAL inhabitants lost 80 percent of goats, sheep, cattle, and camels, and the area suffered significant damage to roads, bridges, human settlements, and other infrastructure.

Kenya: Ministry issues TB, malaria warning

The Ministry of Health in Kenya has sounded an alarm on the increase of malaria and tuberculosis (TB) cases in Kajiado District.
Area public health officer, Paul Tikolo, said malaria prevalence had shot up to 27 per cent from 23 per cent in 2004. Infection rate of TB, he said, stood at 3 per cent from 2 per cent last year.
"We have been forced to come up with special TB manyattas at the district hospital so that the patients can complete their dosage," he said.
He said many people in the area failed to complete medication. Tikolo was speaking at the weekend in Loitokitok during the launch of a global campaign on HIV/Aids, TB and malaria.
The Government, he said, had embarked on an anti-malaria campaign in the district aimed at disinfecting all open draining systems in public places.
"The disposal of drainage in the open because of poor sewerage system has provided breeding zones for mosquitoes," he said.
He directed health officials to oversee the formation of TB and malaria community control systems. Tikolo banned direct discharge of raw sewage into River Kiserian whose waters he described as highly contaminated.

Food and grace help people survive during drought
By Evans McGowan, ACT International

Machakos region, Kenya, June 15, 2006 - Agnes Katile had never seen so much maize in her life. After months without rain and not knowing how to feed her four children, she received 74 kilograms of maize through a relief program coordinated by Church World Service (CWS), a member of the global alliance Action by Churches Together (ACT) International, and its local partner, the Africa Brotherhood Church (ABC).
The Katile family is one of more than 500 drought-affected families who received maize in late March to sustain them through the planting season. Communities hit by the drought selected the families to receive assistance, considering especially the most vulnerable - single-headed households, the elderly, orphans and handicapped people.
With assistance from CWS-ACT and ABC, farmers can now sustain themselves and keep their children in school until the crops are ready to be harvested. The farmers also received cassava, a root vegetable that is very hardy in a dry climate, cowpeas and sweet potato seeds. The rains have finally come to the Machakos region, an hour's drive east of Nairobi. However, the farmers don't expect to harvest until July.
Although Machakos is known for having fertile land, heavy deforestation and climate changes have led to soil erosion that severely decreases crop production.
When the rains start falling in March until the ground dries in August, Agnes is able to fetch water from the river about half a kilometer from her home. During the dry season, however, she must walk 10 kilometers to the local town to obtain water. More than 20 years ago, an earthen dam was built to retain water. Now, soil run-off has completely filled the dam, and some farmers have even begun planting where the dam once lay. A well has been dug to access what little water can be found below the surface. CWS emergency relief consultant Sam Mutua has suggested de-silting the dam and building a subsurface dam farther upstream to catch the silt and create a long-term solution to the ongoing challenge of having a water supply.
Agnes received some assistance from the government in February - seven kilos of maize and enough seed to plant two rows of maize - but it was not enough. By assisting the most impoverished, CWS-ACT hopes to lift up the entire community and not let the most vulnerable people suffer unnecessarily.
Agnes has four children. Her oldest son, Videlis Mambo, is in Form 2 (the second year of secondary school). She has three other children who are all attending school: Kilonzo (13), Mercy (9) and Kamanthe (7). With only 1.5 acres to farm, a good harvest will bring a maximum of four bags of maize, too little to sell, and which will provide the family with only six months of sustenance. To support themselves when the maize is gone, the family cuts sisal to weave strands and sell as rope. They also cut trees to make charcoal, but there are too few trees remaining to continue doing this.
In Agnes' community, individuals survive by the grace of others. Despite her vulnerable position, Agnes has shared what little she has with her neighbors. She feels compelled to continue sharing the grace she first received in the assistance from CWS while hoping and praying the rains will last and bring a substantial harvest.
Evans McGowan is working at the Church World Service East Africa Regional Office as a volunteer through the Presbyterian Church (USA) Young Adult Volunteer Program. Both Church World Service and the Presbyterian Church (USA) (Presbyterian Disaster Assistance) are members of ACT International

Aids: when the drugs don’t work

The campaign to deliver cheap anti-retroviral drugs to HIV patients in Africa is at last making progress. But the therapy can actually make matters worse if those being treated do not have enough to eat
In the drought-stricken regions of northern Kenya, some people face a stark choice: they either eat or risk being struck down by an Aids-related illness.
“People know that HIV will kill them in months, but hunger might kill them by the end of the week,” said Dr John Mundi Amolo as he makes his tour of the HIV and Aids patients admitted to Mutomo Hospital. “If someone has only 50 bob [35p], then they would rather buy food than get drugs for their HIV. They have no choice.”
Mutomo Hospital is in the Kitui district, which has been hit hard by five years of drought. Rivers have dried up, crops destroyed, and the people worn down by hunger. Among the most affected have been those with HIV and Aids. Although life-saving drugs are cheap and available, the small food and medical costs necessary to be able to take them are often too much.
“The anti-Aids drugs don’t work well without good nutrition,” said the doctor. “People have not been eating day after day. Taking the drugs on an empty stomach makes them feel sick so they stop. If you don’t keep the same level of the drugs in your blood, HIV very quickly attacks the immune system. We are seeing very ill people being carried in all the time.”
When nurses from the hospital found Paul Kwaluma, he weighed just 34kg. “I thought I was going to die,” he said. “I could not get out of bed. I was very weak.” He started taking the anti-retroviral drugs last year, but went off them after his small vegetable plot dried up and he was left without food. “I stopped taking the medicine because when you have nothing in your stomach it makes you feel very ill. But as soon as I stopped, I rapidly became unwell. I had lost half my body weight in a couple of weeks.”
Mr Kwaluma is nearly back to health after being admitted to Mutomo Hospital, where he was fed and returned to his anti-Aids drug therapy again. The hospital is part of the Catholic diocese of Kitui HIV and Aids programme. It’s a long-established programme supported by Cafod that works out of four hospitals, helping 5,000 people with home-based care, testing, education, counselling, income-generating projects and supporting orphans and vulnerable children.
Counselling stresses the importance of eating properly and always sticking to taking the drugs. Missing doses allows the virus to become resistant to the medicine. If less than 95 per cent of the drugs are taken on time, resistance develops quickly, the medicine becomes less effective and the patient becomes very ill. Although a second generation of HIV drugs can then be used, they are prohibitively expensive.
Paul Kwaluma’s case is all too common for Fr Paul Healy, the administrator of Kitui diocese. “You are getting people in Kitui who don’t have any food,” he said. “When starvation comes, you don’t have many choices. If you don’t have money for food, you can’t eat. And you can’t take the drugs if you can’t eat. With HIV and drought, you are constantly ill with infections. People are getting sicker and doing more damage to their bodies.”
Last week, the Kenyan Government promised free drugs to those who need them. Dr James Nical, director of medical services at the Ministry of Health, is Kenya’s leading medic. He says his country has been making tremendous progress on HIV. Kenya has one of the highest numbers of people with HIV in Africa at 1.3 million, though the number of new infections is the lowest in years. The Government is providing more drugs – doubling the number on anti-retrovirals since 2003. Still, of the 220,000 Kenyans with HIV who are ill enough to be on the anti-Aids therapy, only one in three actually takes them. In Mutomo, the people who take the drugs and eat properly look healthy; they can work and they can lead positive lives. It makes for a dramatic juxtaposition with those who don’t.
“I have a high fever, I cough all the time, and I feel so tired,” said Teresa, a 45-year-old mother of eight children. Although her health is plainly deteriorating and her blood tests show that she should be taking the drugs, she cannot afford the other costs that go with that, such as transport. Mutomo Hospital provides the only healthcare in a 70km radius, and she lives too far away. “I don’t have enough money to pay to get to the hospital or for the check-up tests,” she said. “My husband has a new wife and will not give me any money. He pays the hospital costs of our youngest child who also is HIV positive, but for me he gives nothing.” She estimates it would cost her just £3 a month to pay for the transport and the regular tests. It is £3 that might save her life if she had it.
Cafod believes that providing drugs alone will not be enough to tackle the pandemic. The aid agency believes that in the short term there is a need to see supplementary feeding for people with HIV and Aids, but beyond that the cycle of poverty, drought and hunger must be broken. That will mean beefing up Kenya’s healthcare, according to Fr Paul Healy, who adds: “We need the capacity to deliver the drugs effectively. We need more medical staff and we need more outreach clinics closer to the people.” He says that for Kitui they need three times the medical staff to be able to administer anti-retroviral drugs to people who should but aren’t taking them. Nationally, the Kenyan Government says it needs to increase the number of nurses from 18,000 to 24,000 to be able to meet the demand. It’s a target made increasingly difficult as more nurses are attracted to better salaries overseas.
The brain drain of trained medical staff from poor to rich countries was just one of the topics at last week’s United Nations General Assembly Special Session on HIV and Aids (UNGASS) in New York. The summit looked back at progress made in the fight against the pandemic. World leaders signed up to providing universal access to prevention, treatment and care by 2010. But the target looks utopian to many experts. On the issue of access to anti-Aids drugs, only 1.3 million people receive Aids drugs out of the 6.5 million people who need them. Cafod’s Chris Bain was part of the Caritas delegation of Catholic Church aid agencies at the UN meeting. He feels that the meeting came up short, saying: “The first case of HIV was diagnosed 25 years ago this week. Since then the pandemic has killed 25 million people, with two-thirds of the victims being in Africa. Millions more already infected will die unless we see a proper commitment to tackling the poverty that underpins HIV. We can beat Aids if we make the right choices.”
Back in Kitui, the choices are limited. Paul Kwaluma is optimistic, after short rains in May, that there will be enough food for his immediate needs. But with the river beds already starting to dry up, all he can offer is a shrug as to what he’ll do if the main rains fail to deliver in the winter. “The world cannot pretend to ignore the severity of the problem,” said Fr Healy. “Unless we get long-term solutions, people will be more impoverished. People with HIV and Aids will not stand a chance.”

Learning lessons about HIV and health

The Mutomo clinic tackles HIV in Kenya, but the struggle for food and basic healthcare affects patients' ability to take life-saving drugs, as Paul Kwaluma discovered
"I stopped taking the HIV medicine because when you have nothing in your stomach it makes you feel very ill," said Paul Kwaluma, a 40-year-old from Kitui district in rural Kenya.
Food has been scarce in the Kitui after a cycle of poor rains over the last five years left the earth parched and devastated agriculture.
The drought hit hardest the poor and most vulnerable, especially those already weakened by HIV and AIDS and too sick to work for food.
Paul Kwaluma tested positive is 1999, and started taking the life-saving anti-retroviral drugs (ARVs) that stops the HIV virus attacking the immune system last year.
But, for the drugs to be effective, patients need to be on an adequate diet. Paul was too ill to work in his job as a driver, and the drought meant that his family’s small plot of land did not produce enough food.
Dramatic weight loss
"When I stopped taking the drugs in October, I weighed about 62 kg, and I was healthy," said Paul, "But quickly I became very sick. I thought I was going to die.
"I could not get out of bed. I lost weight dramatically. The nurses from the Mutomo clinic came and took me straight into hospital. I weighed just 34 kg at the time."
Mutomo Hospital is part of the Catholic Diocese of Kitui HIV and AIDS programme. It is a long-established and well-run programme that works out of four hospitals in Kitui helping 5,000 people with home-based care, testing, counselling, education, income generating projects, and supporting orphans and vulnerable children.
Mutomo clinic alone receives £55,000 a year from CAFOD to help people with HIV and AIDS.
Paul Kwaluma is nearly back to being healthy after receiving food and being put on his anti-AIDS drug therapy again by the staff in Mutomo. He has received counselling on the importance of not missing any of his drug treatment.
"I have learned an important lesson. I must ensure that I have enough food. I must get healthy so I can get back to work and provide for me and my family."
Progress on ARVs
More than 1.3 million people in Kenya are infected with the virus, although the number of new cases declined last year. Kenya has made progress in providing anti-AIDS drugs to people who need them – doubling the number on ARVs since 2003.
The drugs have become cheaper and money from donors such as the Global Fund for HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria has made them more widely available.
Still, of the 220,000 of the people with HIV are ill enough to be receiving the anti-AIDS drugs, only one in three of them actually do.
"Some people decline the anti-AIDS drugs because they know they don’t have enough food," said Dr John Mundi Amolo of Mutomo Hospital.
"People know that you have to eat to be able to take the drugs. But if they don’t have the food, they have no choice. They have to pay to come to the hospital and for the testing.
"If somebody has only 50 shillings (a few pence), they might prefer to buy food because although HIV will kill you in a couple of months, famine might kill you in a week.
"Some cannot afford the addition costs such as the regular blood tests that are required. Even the price of transportation to the nearest clinic can be too much for many people living below the poverty line.
"Providing the actual drugs is only part of the problem, we must also provide the necessary food and healthcare."
Dr John says it is not a shortage of the drugs, but a shortage of trained medical personnel. He says that to treat all the people with HIV who should be on the drugs in his hospital’s area would require three times the number of staff.
CAFOD’s Chris Bain has been at the UN General Assembly Special Session in New York this week. His message to donors is that providing universal access is not just about delivering drugs, but also about providing the health service and food for those drugs to be effective.




Kitui is a town in Kenya, 180 kilometers east of Nairobi and 105 kilometers east of Machakos. It used to be the capital of the Kitui District in Eastern Province of Kenya. Due to political reforms, Kitui is now the headquarters of Kitui County, which covers a larger area than the former district did. As a consequence, the city has become a natural meeting point for politicians and businessmen. And most of the hotels are therefore expanding. In addition, people have noticed that Kitui town is suitable for a pit-stop or a sleep on the way from Mt. Kenya to Mombasa.

There are many traditional Kamba dancers in the Kitui area
Kitui town had a population of 13,244 in 1999, but has grown substantially since this. According to the local Non-Governmental Organization KICABA, there are now about 60,000 living in the city, whereas 1,000,000 if you include the outskirts. A large majority of the residents belong to the Kamba, a Bantu people. The Kamba of Kenya speak the Bantu Kamba language (Kikamba) as a mother tongue, and are considered as friendly and welcoming people.
Although most of the sights are located in the outskirts of town, Kitui is a busy trading center, its streets lined with arcaded shops. Every Monday and Thursday is a market day. All sorts of vegetables can be bought, in addition to goats, hens and sometimes even cows.
The two major secondary schools are Kitui High School and St. Charles Lwanga Boys High School. For girls, there is Mulango Girls High and St. Angelas High. Other secondary schools are Tungutu, Chuluni, Changwithya Boys, Matinyani and Katulani Mixed Secondary School.

The hotels in Kitui are of mixed standard. However, since tourism has just started blossoming, there are currently several development projects. In spring 2011 a new hotel named Cottages and Guesthouse opened. Together with Talents Hotel, it represents the hotels of higher standard in town. There are many other hotels in the area too, though the standard must be said to be a bit lower. As tourism in Kitui just started growing, the prices are still very fair.
Eating out

It's quite common that the people of Kitui eat lunch out, and therefore there are several places to eat in the Kitui area. As most customers are locals, the dishes offered are normally traditional African. Chapati (almost like tortillas), ugali, githeri or rice served with goat meat, chicken and/or cooked vegetable stew. The best restaurants are the ones connected to the better hotels in town. If you want good western, chinese or Italian food you can visit Bavaria that is situated 1,5 km from the centre. The prices in Kitui center are normally quite low, to fit the budget of the locals – and does not vary significantly.

There are several banks in Kitui; Barclay's, The National Bank, KCB and Family Bank – of which all have ATM's. In addition to these you can find more banks, but the ones mentioned above are recommended.

Naivas is a new supermarket in town, which opened in December 2009. This store got everything you need, from food to furniture, office supplies and toiletries. The standard of this store is very good, so don't be afraid if you have forgotten some necessities for the trip. There are also several pharmacies in town, of which all are clean and trustworthy, though the variety is limited. For example; the selection of bandages is very poor - so be sure to bring this on the trip in case you'll get injured.

The Kamba people are well known for weaving beautiful baskets
Although there are many shops in town, finding clothes of western style may be challenging, same with shoes. The more expensive stores are located in the Muli Mall, which is situated in the middle of the town center. There are some bookstores in Kitui, but they mostly sell schoolbooks, so if you need something to read for leisure, be sure to buy this in advance of your arrival in Kitui.

The Kitui people are very religious and the churches play a central role in the community. There are plenty of churches around the area, and a couple of mosques can also be spotted around the area. Most locals go to service every Sunday (usually around 10 am.), and visitors are welcomed. However, when visiting a church, you should be aware that fund-raisers or offerings are quite common – and that visitors are expected to contribute.
[edit]Sights and activities

Kitui got lot to offer, but it may be a bit difficult for tourists to find these, if not shown by locals. The roads are poorly signed, and directions given may be difficult to follow. Especially since you mostly need to double the travel-time and distance they approx.

The nature in Kitui County is often a bit dry, but there are large variations within the county
Nzambani Rock is the premium scenic tourist attraction in Kitui. Situated about 20 minutes drive from the town (more in the rain season) it is truly a special sight. In the middle of the relatively flat landscape, suddenly the 60 feet tall rock is rising from the ground. To reach the top, it was built a staircase some years ago. There is a small fee to enter the staircase, which can be bought at the Nzambani Rock parking lot office for 100/200 KSH (Kenyans) or 200/400 KSH (foreigners) for children/adults. The prices can vary a bit with the season.
In addition, Kitui is a district with strong culture and a rich history. Therefore there are many traditional dance groups, whom all appreciate visitors. If you contact them and ask for a dance show or even a lesson, for a small fee they'd be happy to welcome you into their home. Visiting schools, orphanages or even the university can also be an experience, and as hospital as the Kitui people are – if you ask, you're most likely to be welcomed.

Kitui is in general a very safe area.

If you visit Kitui by car, you should notice that parking is not free of charge. Although there are no signs with information, be aware that parking without a parking ticket can be expensive and complicated. There should be parking attendants strolling the streets, normally in yellow coats, so make sure one of these contact you before leaving the car. The fee for parking a full day is 40 K.Sh (July 2011), while the penalty is 500 K.Sh. In addition the car may be locked, so that you need to visit the municipal in order to release it.
[edit]Gas Stations

There are several gas stations located nearby the Kitui market. These are served, and telling them in advance how much you want to fill in shillings may be a clever.

Taxis are not a very common sight in Kitui town, but according to locals – taxis can be found. However these are not marked in any special way, so can therefore be difficult to spot. The motorcycle taxis however are much more commonly used by the locals, more visible in the city – and are also less expensive. Seeing a motorbike packed with three or four people is not an unusual sight. Though the most possible place for one to get a taxi is at the biashara street near the town bus station.

Kitui has got good eating places where one can have light and heavy meals, though a few of them offer accommodation. These hotels include: the riverside hotel, signal hotel, parkside villa, royal makuti hotel, tourist hotel, among others. Of these the ones that can offer accommodation are tourist hotel, parkside villa and some various guest houses at Kitui town.
External links

Information site created by volunteers working and living in Kitui, summer 2011 - "Help to Self-help in Africa"


Kenya has what is known as a "generalized" epidemic, with the virus having spread beyond discrete groups to affect the whole of society.  With a significant proportion of the national population already infected, the risks of encountering HIV during any single episode of risk behaviour are considerable, meaning that relatively low levels of risk behaviour may nevertheless carry a substantial likelihood of transmission. Among adult participants in the 2003 Kenya Demographic and Health Survey who said they had "no risk" for HIV, nearly 1 in 20 (4.6%) were in reality HIV- infected (Montana et al., 2007).

Kenya has what is known as a "generalized" epidemic, with the virus having spread beyond discrete groups to affect the whole of society.

With a significant proportion of the national population already infected, the risks of encountering HIV during any single episode of risk behaviour are considerable, meaning that relatively low levels of risk behaviour may nevertheless carry a substantial likelihood of transmission. Among adult participants in the 2003 Kenya Demographic and Health Survey who said they had "no risk"
for HIV, nearly 1 in 20 (4.6%) were in reality HIV- infected (Montana et al., 2007).
Since HIV was first recognized in Kenya in 1984, the universe of knowledge about the epidemic has continually expanded, providing national decision-makers with an ever-growing foundation for evidence-informed strategies. Although
major progress has been achieved in Kenya's response to HIV, the epidemic remains one of the country's greatest health and development challenges. Moreover, the epidemic continues to evolve, presenting both new challenges and new opportunities as Kenya looks to the future.

A young, rapidly growing population

With a population of 38.6 million people (Kenya National Bureau of Statistics, 2010), Kenya has a rate of population growth (2.8% annually in 1990–2008) that exceeds the average for low- income countries overall (2.2%) and for sub-Saharan Africa as a whole (2.6%) (World Bank, 2010). Forty-three per cent of Kenya's population is below age 15 (World Bank, 2010). The large majority (78%) of Kenyans currently live in rural areas (World Bank, 2010), with 60% of Kenyan households engaged in farm work (Kenya Institute for Public Policy Research and Analysis, 2009).

Economic conditions

After experiencing modest economic growth in the 1990s (2.2%) annually, Kenya improved its economic performance during the last decade, with an average annual increase in the gross domestic product of 4.5% (World Bank, 2010; see Kenya Institute for Public Policy Research, 2009). The social and political crisis that followed the December 2007 election interrupted a five- year period of growth, although the country's economic performance has subsequently rebounded (Kenya Institute for Public Policy Research, 2009). Achieving the goals set forth in Vision 2030 will require annual increases of gross domestic product of 10% (Kenya Institute for Public Policy Research and Analysis, 2009) – a pace far in excess of Kenya's current and historic rates of growth.
A substantial portion of Kenya's population struggles to obtain the basic necessities of life. Nearly half (46.6%) of all Kenyans were living below the national poverty line in 2005–2006, and 40% of the population subsists on less than US$ 2 a day (World Bank, 2010). The country ranks 177th in per capita gross national income (World Bank, 2010).
Kenya is also among the world's most economically inequitable societies. Between 1995 and 2008, the poorest quintile (20%) accounted for only 4.7% of national wealth (World Bank, 2010). By contrast, the richest quintile claimed 53% of national income (World Bank, 2010).
The myriad ways in which Kenyans live and relate to each other are intrinsically linked with the epidemic's past, present and future.
Education and health
Kenya's literacy rates – 90% for males and 83% for females – are considerably higher than for sub-Saharan Africa generally (76% and 63%, respectively) (World Bank, 2010). Primary school completion rates are high (80%), but significantly fewer young people (49% in 2008) attend secondary school (World Bank, 2010). While Kenya outranks most African countries on basic education indicators, experts say that the country's rapidly growing labour force is generally lacking in the skills that will be required for the country to become globally competitive (Kenya Institute for Public Policy Research and Analysis, 2009).
Kenya's health profile is mixed. Largely because of the heavy impact of HIV, life expectancy in Kenya has fallen sharply (Gelmond et al., 2009), although it has begun to rebound in recent years, as HIV-related mortality has declined. The population-based mortality rate for children under age five was higher in 2008 (128 per 1,000 live births) than it was in 1990 (105 per 1,000) (Kenya National Bureau of Statistics, 2010), but the under-five mortality rate has fallen over the last 10 years (Kenya National Bureau of Statistics, 2010). By contrast, maternal mortality in Kenya (560 per 100,000 live births in 2008) is considerably lower than the average for low-income countries (790 per 100,000) or for sub-Saharan Africa as a whole (900 per 100,000) (World Bank, 2010). Pregnant women in Kenya are significantly more likely to receive antenatal care than sub-Saharan African women as a whole (World Bank, 2010), with 92% of Kenyan women receiving an antenatal care from a medical professional (Kenya National Bureau of Statistics, 2010). Kenya also outperforms sub-Saharan Africa overall with respect to access to sanitation, child immunization, and tuberculosis treatment success (World Bank, 2010).

HIV prevalence in Kenya

In 2011, Kenya estimates that approximately 6.2% of the adult population is HIV-infected.1 HIV prevalence in Kenya is believed to have peaked in 1995–1996, at 10.5%, subsequently falling by approximately 40% and remaining relatively stable for the last several years.
Historically a key marker for national progress in the AIDS response, HIV prevalence becomes more difficult to interpret as antiretroviral treatment is scaled up. Because treatment extends life and reduces rates of AIDS deaths, increases in HIV prevalence are likely even with incremental declines in the rates of new infections. Accordingly, performance indicators for Kenya's most recent national AIDS strategy project a relatively modest decline in HIV prevalence between 2007 and 2013, with an actual uptick on overall HIV prevalence anticipated over time due to the health benefits of improved treatment access.
population of people living with HIV in sub-Saharan Africa and the highest national HIV prevalence of any country outside Southern Africa (UNAIDS, 2008). As people living with HIV are living longer as a result of improved access to HIV treatment, it is anticipated that the total number of HIV- infected individuals in Kenya will continue to increase, approaching 1.8 million by 2015.
There is considerable geographic variability in the burden of HIV in Kenya. Provincial HIV prevalence ranges from a high of 13.9% in Nyanza Province to a low of 0.9% in North Eastern Province – a more than 15-fold variation (Kenya National Bureau of Statistics, 2010). Nyanza Province alone accounts for one in four HIV-infected people in Kenya.
Kenya's epidemic disproportionately affects women, who account for 59.1% of adults living with HIV. Among people between 15 and 49 years, HIV prevalence among women (8.0%) is nearly twice that among men (4.3%) (Kenya National Bureau of Statistics, 2010).

HIV prevalence in Kenya
In 2011, Kenya estimates that approximately 6.2% of the adult population is HIV-infected.1 HIV prevalence in Kenya is believed to have peaked in 1995–1996, at 10.5%, subsequently falling by approximately 40% and remaining relatively stable for the last several years.
Historically a key marker for national progress in the AIDS response, HIV prevalence becomes more difficult to interpret as antiretroviral treatment is scaled up. Because treatment extends life and reduces rates of AIDS deaths, increases in HIV prevalence are likely even with incremental declines in the rates of new infections. Accordingly, performance indicators for Kenya's most recent national AIDS strategy project a relatively modest decline in HIV prevalence between 2007 and 2013, with an actual uptick on overall HIV prevalence anticipated over time due to the health benefits of improved treatment access.
population of people living with HIV in sub-Saharan Africa and the highest national HIV prevalence of any country outside Southern Africa (UNAIDS, 2008). As people living with HIV are living longer as a result of improved access to HIV treatment, it is anticipated that the total number of HIV- infected individuals in Kenya will continue to increase, approaching 1.8 million by 2015.
There is considerable geographic variability in the burden of HIV in Kenya. Provincial HIV prevalence ranges from a high of 13.9% in Nyanza Province to a low of 0.9% in North Eastern Province – a more than 15-fold variation (Kenya National Bureau of Statistics, 2010). Nyanza Province alone accounts for one in four HIV-infected people in Kenya.
Kenya's epidemic disproportionately affects women, who account for 59.1% of adults living with HIV. Among people between 15 and 49 years, HIV prevalence among women (8.0%) is nearly twice that among men (4.3%) (Kenya National Bureau of Statistics, 2010).
HIV affects Kenyans from all socioeconomic strata. Highest HIV prevalence (7.2%) is among the top wealth quintile, with the second highest HIV prevalence among the second lowest (6.8%). The poorest Kenyans (lowest wealth quintile) are least likely to be living with HIV, with a prevalence of 4.6%.
For sub-Saharan Africa generally, educational attainment is inversely correlated with HIV risk for women, at least according to surveys conducted over the last 10–15 years (Hargreaves et al., 2008). In Kenya, this pattern is not so clearly established. Although women with secondary education or higher have lower HIV prevalence (6.9%) than women who completed only primary education (8.9%), lowest HIV prevalence is reported among women with no education (5.8%) (Kenya National Bureau of Statistics, 2010).
Muslim Kenyans have HIV prevalence roughly half the national average (3.3%), compared with 5.9% of Roman Catholics and 6.6% of people of Protestant or another Christian denomination (Kenya National Bureau of Statistics, 2010). Among Kenyan tribes, the Luo are notably more likely to be living with HIV than other ethnicities, with more than one in five Luo (20.2%) testing HIV-positive in the 2008–2009 national household survey (Kenya National Bureau of Statistics, 2010). Somalis have the lowest HIV prevalence of any ethnicity (0.8%).
New HIV infections in Kenya
Each year, roughly 0.5% of the Kenyan adult population (or 1 out of every 200) are newly infected. In 2011, more than 91,000 Kenyan adults became infected. The number of new infections in 2011 was less than one-third the annual number of new infections at the epidemic's peak in 1993, when more than 350,000 adults were newly infected. Although the pace of new HIV infections has slowed in Kenya, the number of new infections remains high. Based on current trends, it is projected that the number of new HIV infections will continue its slow, steady decline, with 81,972 new infections among people over age 15 anticipated in 2013.
In addition to the approximately 91,000 new infections among adults, it is estimated that 12,894 children under age 15 became newly infected with HIV in 2011, with the overwhelming majority contracting the virus during pregnancy or delivery or as a result of breastfeeding. With continuing success in expanding access to services to prevent new infections in children, it is estimated that the number of children newly infected in 2011 was 30% lower than in 2010. The number of people 50 years and older who were newly infected in 2011 is unclear, although comparison of the most recent estimates with the modes-of-transmission analysis for the 15–49 age cohort suggests that the annual
number of newly infected older adults could range from 5,000 to 15,000.
In comparison to earlier stages of the epidemic, fewer young people in Kenya today are entering adulthood with HIV infection. Kenya is one of 10 high-burden countries in which HIV prevalence among young women (ages 15–24) has declined by significantly more than 25% (UNAIDS, 2010). Studies over time suggest that declines in new infections may be greater among young women than among young men. In such a young and comparatively sexually inexperienced segment of the population, HIV prevalence is regarded as a useful surrogate for HIV incidence. It is not altogether clear whether the pace of decline in the level of HIV infections among young people is sufficient to achieve the country's 2013 HIV prevalence targets for young women (3%) and young men (1%).
Understanding the rate and distribution of new HIV infections is critical to effective HIV prevention planning. According to Kenya's first-ever study to estimate new infections by modes of transmission, new infections derive from the following sources (Gelmon et al., 2009):
? Heterosexual sex within a union or regular partnership (44.1%)
? Casual heterosexual sex (20.3%) ? Sex workers and clients (14.1%) ? Men who have sex with men and prisons
(15.2%) ? Injecting drug use (3.8%) ? Health facility related (2.5%).
Nyanza Province contributes roughly one- third of all new HIV infections in Kenya. The other two provincial centres for new HIVFigure
HIV prevalence among young people by sex, 2003–2009
? Percentage of ? young people, female, aged 15–24 who are HIV infected
Percentage of young people, male, aged 15–24 who are HIV infected
deaths in 2002–2004, when an estimated 130,000 people died each year. Peak mortality followed peak HIV incidence in Kenya by roughly a decade, which one would expect given the roughly 10-year life expectancy of a newly infected individual in the pre-ART era.
Were current trends to continue, Kenya would achieve its 2013 target for reducing the annual number of AIDS deaths to 61,000 or lower. Indeed, current projections indicate that 26,720 Kenyans are likely to die of AIDS- related causes in 2013.
The impact of HIV in Kenya
The epidemic continues to have far-reaching social, economic, health and population effects. In addition to the harms directly inflicted on HIV-infected individuals and the households in which they live, AIDS has had indirect effects that are nevertheless real and substantial on communities and the whole of society.
In particular, HIV infection results in severe economic consequences for affected households (Bates et al., 2004). One out of nine households in Kenya has been affected by AIDS, with the head of household having HIV in more than three out of four AIDS- affected households (NASCOP, 2009).
The epidemic has resulted in a sharp deterioration of basic health indicators. Between 1998 and 2003 – or roughly between the epidemic's peak in Kenya and the early introduction of antiretroviral therapy – the adult mortality rate (ages 15–49) rose by 40% for women and by 30% among men (Gelmond et al., 2009, citing findings from consecutive Demographic and Health Surveys). With a large number of newborns newly infected each year, the epidemic has also increased mortality among children under five (Gelmond et al., 2009).
The concentration of the epidemic's burden among young adults has visited particular hardships on Kenya's children, regardless of whether children themselves become HIV- positive (K'Oyugi, Muita, 2002). In 2011, an estimated 1.1 million children in Kenya had lost one or both parents to AIDS. Kenyan children with one or more HIV-infected parents are significantly less likely than other children to be in school, more likely to be underweight, and less likely to receive basic medical care (Mishra et al., 2005).
While children have experienced among the harshest effects of the epidemic, AIDS has burdened Kenyans from all age strata and all walks of life. Nearly one in five (18%) Nairobi residents over age 50 report having been personally affected by AIDS, such as becoming infected, caring for an AIDS patients or orphaned child, or losing a loved one (Kyobutungi et al., 2009).
AIDS appears to have affected fertility patterns. On average, HIV-infected women have 40% fewer children than the norm (Akinyi Magadi, Agwanda, 2010). HIV- infected women are notably less likely to express a desire for a child within the next two years than women who had tested HIV- negative or who had not received HIV test results; women living with HIV are also significantly more likely than other women to report not desiring to have a child at any point in the future (NASCOP, 2009).
7 6 5 4 3 2 1 0
2003 2007
infections are Nairobi (10,155 new infections in 2006) and Coast Province (6,656 new infections in 2006) (Gelmon et al., 2009).
Although heterosexual intercourse remains the driving force in Kenya's epidemic, accounting for more than 77% of all new infections, other transmission routes contribute a much larger share of new HIV infections than previously estimated (see Guows et al., 2006). Sex work, sex between men, and injecting drug use together account for nearly one-third of all new infections (Gelmon et al., 2009).
The epidemic continues to exert a disproportionate effect on adolescents and young adults. Young people between ages 15– 35 represent 38% of the national population but are believed to make up more than 60% of new HIV infections (NACC, 2009).
AIDS mortality in Kenya
Since the epidemic began, HIV has claimed the lives of at least 1.7 million people in Kenya. In 2011, an estimated 49,126 people in Kenya died of AIDS-related causes.
The AIDS death toll in 2010 represents a nearly two-thirds drop from the peak in AIDS


National AIDS/STI Control Programme (NASCOP) Url: http://www.nascop.or.ke


Important Links of Kenya


Eat Out Kenya

The Eat Out restaurant guide is a contemporary, functional and unique online portal that seeks to put the Kenya's dining culture "on the map". We believe that this first-of-its-kind concept will be a revolution for both diners and restaurants in Kenya. Our aim is be Nairobi & Kenya's most comprehensive online restaurant guide featuring the tiniest venue to the talk of the town. Whether you're a fine diner or a fast food lover, if you love to eat out, you'll love Eat Out!




Nature, people, tradition, tribes, beaches and many more are the reasons this country attracts that many visitors. Learn more about and dare to be one more of them through this practical multilingual colourful website.



Kenya Buzz

This is the definitive guide of what's on in the country, colourful and full of content.



Kenya Coast

The coast tourism region stretches 500 kilometers from Shimoni in the south to Kiunga in the north and inland to Tsavo, with Lake Jipe on the Tazanian border and includes the 7,500 foot high Taita Hills. The coast hinterland is a natural extension of the low lying coastal belt and national wildlife parks and private conservancies are just a few hours drive away.




Kenya Museums

Simple designwise but a good database of every museum in the country with a fiull description and information. An invaluable resource for any traveller truly interested in the mixed and very interesting Kenyan culture.



Kenya Top Destinations

Simple design, but useful site. Just go down and click on the place of interest and a whole new section with specific information appears. Easy and relevant.



Kenya Travel

Possibly the best site on Kenya, nicely designed and laid out, with plenty of relevant information on every region.



Kenya Walking Trails

Welcome to what is becoming the best reference guide to walking trails in Kenya. The goal is to build a body of knowledge and information about the best treks and trails in the country. Our hope is to make the outdoors more accessible for the ease, well-being and enjoyment of everyone.



Kenya Wildlife and Parks

The ultimate resource for a complete listing of national parks in the country, just choose from the link you want and read all about access requirements and more. Part of a general presentation of the Kenyan wildlife service.



Kenyatta Convention Centre

Organizers Exhibitors Participants The Venue The Centre is one of its kind in the country which was purposely built for Conference tourism. The 30-storey land mark of Kenya’s skyline was built in 1969 and the only building in the region with a helipad, boasts of a rich MICE heritage and has hosted high profile conferences which have shaped the destiny of mankind in all sectors of the economy.




Girt by the sea, Lamu has been spared the disruption of its society which so often follows on the impact of western influences. It adheres to its old way of life, and the town itself is much as it was centuries ago. The narrow lanes of Lamu and Shela town are unpolluted by motor vehicles, so that social life flows out from the houses into the thoroughfares, fostering that sense of community which has been so singularly lost in many towns around the world.



Magical Kenya

Welcome to the official Kenya Destination website. Magicalkenya.com has been designed to let you explore Kenya and discover the untold wealth of destinations and experiences available to the visitor. If you planning a trip to Kenya or just interested in learning more about the country, you'll find everything you are looking for here.




The coastal city of Mombasa is one of Africa’s major tourist destinations, with some of the best beaches in the world. Located on Kenya’s Eastern coastline bordering the Indian Ocean, Mombasa has become popular for its exotic beaches, diverse marine life, world-class hotels and friendly people.




Welcome to Nairobi City (Nairobi) the unbiased website providing accurate information for travelers coming into Nairobi and looking for a bit more information about the Kenyan capital city. Enjoy.



Nairobi Jambo

While you are here, check out our ideas on activities and things you can do while in Nairobi. You’ll also find information on hiking groups and running groups you might want to contact and join. In addition, we untangle the web of Nairobi’s public transport system, making it easier for you to get around the city.



Nairobi Junction Mall

So, what does The Junction have that makes it stand out from the rest? Is it the 256 thousand square feet of floor space? The 115 stores from top international and local brands? Could it be the Signature Restaurants, Recreation and Entertainment Facilities? Or the fact that, The Junction’s sole interest is centered around you?



Nairobi National Park

Part of the Wildlife Direct page, this presents images and comments on the wildlife in this popular park by the capital of Kenya.



Nairobi Watatu Gallery

A little over 40 years ago three artistic friends - Jony Waite, Robin Anderson and David Hart - embarked on an adventure. They created a privately-owned professionally-managed public space in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, dedicated to showcasing art. They named their baby, "Watatu" - three persons in ki-Swahili.



Rift Valley Festival

The Rift Valley Festival is back! This year we are bigger and better than ever as we welcome the team from Blankets and Wine on board to deliver one of the biggest live music events Kenya has ever seen!




Clearly better sites exist, but it gives the info on this popular resort by the sea.



Westgate Mall

Westgate Shopping Mall, Nairobi's premier mall, is guaranteed to offer the ultimate shopping experience in a world of its own. Located on Mwanzi road, off Ring Road in Westlands, Westgate Mall lends itself a serene and safe environment away from the city centre. Opened in 2007, this expansive mall covers 350,000 sq feet of specialist retail space designed to the latest international retail standards. With over 80 stores, the mall is the destination where local and international shoppers feel at home...



Half of female prostitutes in Kenya are HIV Positive

According to the first ever national census of sex workers carried out by the Ministry of Health, almost half of 138,420, the total number of female prostitutes in Kenya, are HIV positive.
It is estimated that 45 per cent of prostitutes carry the Aids causing virus compared to 7.7 per cent of the general female population.
The study funded by the US government, the World Bank, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation among others, covered 50 towns in the country with a population of over 5,000 residents.
Nairobi holds the largest share of prostitutes at 20 per cent of the total number followed by the Rift Valley (17 per cent), Coast (14 per cent), Nyanza (14 per cent), Eastern (12 per cent), Western (12 per cent), Central (10 per cent) and North Eastern (2 per cent).
Among all the 50 towns mapped, Nairobi with 27,620 prostitutes had the highest number with a quarter of these, 21 per cent found in Starehe District, which also covers the Central Business District, followed by Embakasi and Kasarani with 14 per cent each.
Former Coast province, Mombasa city have the highest number of sex workers at 9,288, which is more than half of all prostitutes in the region followed by Malindi, Mtwapa and Ukunda in that order.
In Nyanza, Kisumu lead has the highest concentration with 4,041 prostitutes, followed by Kisii and Migori.
In the Rift Valley, Nakuru leads with 4,384, followed by Eldoret, Kericho and Kapenguria in that order.
Western Kenya has the highest number of prostitutes in Kenya with Vihiga taking the lead with 2,749 sex workers followed, by Busia and Mumias.
In Eastern Province Mavoko town accounted for 19 per cent with 1,973 of all prostitutes in the region, followed by Maua and Meru towns
While in Central Kenya, Thika was leading with 1,933, followed by Ruiru and Nyeri.
The type of location from where the female prostitutes operates;
Central Kenya works from the streets followed by Eastern, Coast and Nyanza.
Nairobi though with the famous Koinange Street has the least number of prostitutes operating from the streets followed by the Rift Valley and the Coast.
Nairobi is leading in 88% found to be operating from venues such as bars or hotels, followed by Nyanza, Coast Rift Valley, Western, Central and Eastern in that order.
Home-based prostitution was more common in Rift Valley and Western than in the other regions while at the Coast, Eastern and Nyanza sex dens and brothels are common than anywhere else.
Road or truck-stop sex work was most common in Western.
Some towns having more than 20 per cent of women of reproductive age who could be sex workers;
Kisii, 21 per cent, Bondo, 20 per cent, both in Nyanza; Voi, in Coast 22 per cent, Webuye, 20 per cent, in Western; and Maua, 36 per cent, Makindu 36 per cent and Emali 70 per cent, all in Eastern.
The survey was co-ordinated by the National Aids/STI Control Programme (Nascop) and findings will be used to plan for HIV prevention.