Socio Economic Development in Turkana West, Kenya Volume III: Regional Context: Urbanization in North Rift Kenya
This report is based on a study designed to establish prevailing socio-economic conditions, the nature of businesses and the local economic development in Turkana West, and the trends of urbanization in North Rift Kenya. Turkana West is an arid and semi-arid sub-county in Turkana County, where Kakuma and Kalobeyei refugee settlements are located. By the end of 2020, the sub-county’s combined population of refugees and host communities exceeded 500,000 persons. Turkana County is among the least urbanized counties in Kenya, according to official government census data-the Kenya Housing and Population Census of 2019. However, this census (2019) did not publish refugees as part of the population data for the affected localities.
According to the Kenya 2019 census data, Eldoret is the primate city in a region that is dominated by small and medium-sized towns. In this region, migrations (mainly rural-urban) drive urbanization, with Turkana West experiencing a unique urbanization trend triggered by the influx of refugees in the area. The population (refugee and host community) in these urban areas face multiple vulnerabilities, occasioned by the prevailing urbanization and urban management challenges such as inadequate infrastructure and services, affordable housing problems, weak urban economies, and other challenges.
The study involved desktop research and primary data collection in 2020, that entailed interviewing key informants, focus group discussions, quantitative household and business questionnaires, and research feedback sessions with local communities. The research is available as three volumes: (1) Volume 1 focused on Households’ Socio-Economic Conditions, (2) Volume 2 is on Businesses and Local Economic Development (LED), and Volume 3 is a profile of the Urbanization Trends in North Rift region of Kenya. For each Volume, there is a Brief and a Full Report.