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Kenya and Kibwezi at a glance

WAF in partnership with EPID-Kenya is working in the rural town of Kibwezi, recently promoted as a district in the Makueni County of the Eastern Province of Kenya, with plans to include neighboring areas. Thus far and not surprisingly, our operations have predominantly focused on women and other vulnerable members of the Kambu, Kibwezi, Masongaleni and Machinery communities.

Population: The Kibwezi District has an estimated population of 80,200, only 6 percent of whom are classified as urban residents.

Economy: Kenya’s economy is the third largest in sub-Saharan Africa after South Africa and Nigeria. Despite periods of slow or stagnate growth in the 1990s, Kenya has maintained strong potential due in large part to a relatively diversified economy that includes agriculture, industry, tourism and trade. Poverty remains deep and widespread, with some 40 percent of Kenyans living on less than $2 a day, especially in this semi-arid region of Kibwezi.

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) estimates that 53 percent of rural women and 63 percent of urban women live below the poverty line. Women own an estimated 85 percent of businesses in the informal sector and 48 percent of small enterprises.