Most of the poverty in Kenya is in the Kenyan rural areas where 79% of the populations lives. Those in the rural areas are mainly subsistence farmers and rely on agriculture. In the Northern part of the country, poverty thrives as the area is very dry. There, some could go for days without food with the threat of becoming emaciated for lack of nutritious food.
Water is also a problem. They either lack water completely or can only access water which is contaminated. Poverty in Kenya is depicted in the various lifestyles that people lead.
Some of the poor people who find themselves in the big towns for example, like Kenya’s capital Nairobi, end up in slums. There, life is very difficult and young girls can fall into ‘commercial sex workers’ trade easily. There is a lot of congestion and pollution in the slums. This creates a good ground for easy spread of diseases. The impact of disease is worsened through the inability to afford proper medical treatment. GMFC Kenya is making a huge difference in the lives of thousands, thanks to our donors.
STATISTICS – Poverty in Kenya
- The percentage of people not meeting daily food needs: 46% are living below food poverty line (Kenya Integrated Household Budget Survey, 2006).
- Women dying in childbirth: 488 per 100,000 live births (Kenya Demographic Health Survey). UK: 13 per 100,000 (UNSD, 2007).
- Children dying before age five: 74 per 1,000 live births (Kenya Demographic and Health Survey, 2008/9). UK: 6 per 1,000 (UNSD, 2005).
- Percentage of people aged 15-49 living with HIV/AIDS: 7.8% (National AIDS Control Council, 2008).
- AIDS is killing 700 Kenyans a day. By December 2001, 1.5 Million people had died of AIDS in Kenya. Most people dying of AIDS are 15-49 years so the country is losing its productive labour force as well as having to face the social and emotional impact. (AfPiC International)
- The number of orphans, especially those who have been orphaned as a result of AIDS, is growing rapidly. According to a report, Children on the Brink 2002, compiled by UNAIDS, UNICEF and USAID, there were an estimated 1,659,000 orphans in Kenya in 2001 out of which 892,000 were orphans due to Aids. The report estimated Kenya would have about 1.920,000 orphans by the year 2005 out of which 1,265,000 would be due to AIDS.(AfPiC International )
- Percentage of people with access to safe, clean water: 61% (WDI, 2004).
- The percentage of people living below the national poverty line in 2006 was 46.6 (rural poverty portal)
- In 2000, the Kenyan economy recorded a negative 0.3% growth rate. Then, an estimated 56% of the Kenyan population lived below the poverty line and were largely unable to afford basic services including education, health, food and shelter. Of this number there are an estimated 8.6 million children living in poverty. (AfPiC International)
- According to the same Report, some 14 million people were unemployed, with about 750,000 entering the job market every year. As the economy is only able to create 250,000-330,000 jobs annually, mostly in the jua-kali (informal) sector, employment opportunities shrink by the day. Many factories and businesses have also closed down or relocated to other countries due to the high cost of doing business in Kenya and competition from cheap imported products.(AfPiC International )