Kenya country paper Wetland classification for agricultural development in Eastern and Southern Africa
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Kenya has a growing population projected to increase to 34 million people by the turn of the century. Though the country is undergoing industrial transformation, agriculture remains the mainstay of the economy. The country has an area of about 587 900 km2 of which 576 000 km2 is land surface. 88% of the land surface is classified as arid and semi-arid lands (ASALs) and the remaining 12% forms the medium and high agricultural potential land. This classification is based mainly on the moisture index as indicated by average annual rainfall and evapotranspiration. The Great Rift Valley running north/south influences and determines the drainage pattern so that from the flanks of the Rift Valley, water flows westwards to Lake Victoria and eastwards to the Indian Ocean. The Rift Valley itself forms an internal drainage system. In this case therefore, Kenya consists of five major basins: Lake Victoria, Rift Valley, Athi River, Tana River and Ewaso Ngiro basins (Figure 1). However, only two of these basins can be rated to have surplus water resources: Lake Victoria and Tana River. The other three basins have water deficits and often rely on inter-basin water transfers to meet their basic water needs.
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