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Facts and figures: Kenya – Facts and Figures

Population and Living Standards

According to the latest estimates (2018) Kenya has a population of 51 million people. Almost 20 Million of these are children and adolescents aged 0-14 years. Together with HIV/Aids this is the biggest challenge for the unstable country and the week Kenyan state. Living standard has been decreasing ever since Kenya got an independent state, average life expectation stands at 59.5 years.

Over three quarters of Kenyas population live in rural areas. That translates mostly into no sewage systems, difficulty with access to clean and potable water, no electricity (as it is way too expensive) and hardly any access to medical services without external support. It furthermore means  bad hygiene, hunger, lack of scholar education as well as lack of sexual education. More than half of the population lives in utter poverty.

Education and labour market

According to the World Bank, 5.51 % of the GDP are currently spent on education. This results in hopefully oversized classes (80-100 students in one room) in primary school as well as bad infrastructure, missing water tanks or toilets, lack of qualified teachers and a rather outdated, didactic education of the teachers.While primary education is officially free for all, it comes with high costs for poorer households: Costs for uniforms, books, pens, teachers lunch, levvy fees and other mushrooming fees are often not affordable. That is why school drop out rate is quite high with both genders and a mere 55% of all KCPE-candidats continue their education into secondary school, which comes with far higher costs.

Kenya’s informal sector is the biggest one in Africa – almost 80% of the population is engaged in it while only approx. 15% have a regular income through formal employment. Of the latter half are civil servants.

HIV/Aids

5.51 % of the grown up Kenyan population are considered to be HIV-positive. About two thirds of them are officially under treatment. Regional disparities in prevalence are enormous. Testing is for free but many do either not have the opportunity or do not want to know their status as access to treatment is still not possible for the many of the  infected who fear stigma and isolation and prefer not to know. Also, once on treatment, one still has to pay for their regular CD4-cell count and the transport to the special facilities doing that test, an expenditure most poverty stricken households cannot afford. Statistics might not be correct and may have been tampered with in order to show successes as a huge amount of Aid money went into test- and treatment schemes.

In Kabras, Kakamega official HIV/Aids prevalence is supposed to be 6.8%. Professionals on ground doubt this figure and guestimate it considerably higher.

Nyanza District in Western Kenya is remote and massively underdeveloped. In this rural area close to the Tanzanian border, 88% of the women between 15 and 49 years are HIV-positive. It is one of the poorest if not the poorest district in Kenya.