|— District —|
|• Total||2,069 km2 (799 sq mi)|
|Time zone||EAT (UTC+3)|
The economy of Bungoma district is mainly agricultural, centering on the sugar cane and maize industries. The area experiences high rainfall throughout the year, and is home to several large rivers, which are used for small-scale irrigation.
The Bukusu who occupy much of the District are resilient and flamboyant people who stood up against British rule in the late 19th century. In a war that erupted at Lumboka and eventually ended at Chetambe near Webuye, the Bukusu bitterly resisted British rule. They are farmers who practice both livestock and crop farmers. And an early British traveler described them as such when he visited in 1876 "on the East of the Mountain, there are the Bukusu who are greater livestock breeders and keepers".
The Bukusu have produced many prominent people that have served in the Kenyan public life among them the late Hon Wamalwa Kijana (former vice president), the late Cardinal Maurice Michael Otunga (head of the Catholic Church in Kenya), the late Elijah Masinde (founder of Dini ya Musambwa), Sudi Namachanja (chief during colonial days), Luka Namulala (community fore teller), among others. Among the women that have stood out include Dinah Khayota (former women leader), Justice Ruth Nekoye and lawyer Nancy Barasa among others.
Politically, over the last 17 years or so the community have been members of Ford-Kenya, the party formerly headed by Wamalwa Kijana. Through this party the community has been able to express and participate in national politics. More recently community members now have MPs drawn from ODM, PNU and Ford-Kenya. In recent years, the larger Bungoma District has been subdivided into four Districts, Bungoma East (with headquarters at Webuye), Bungoma North (Mukuyuni), Bungoma West (Chwele) and Bungoma South (Bungoma town). The total Population of the 4 Districts is currently estimated to be 1.4 million people. This large population coupled with rural unemployment has started to put pressure on land and other natural resources.
There are a number of non-governmental organizations currently working in Bungoma. SACRED Africa (www.sacredafrica.com) started by Dr Juma Mukhwana has established an agricultural research and training center at Siritanyi campus on the outskirts of Bungoma town. SACRED Africa works with farmers to improve smallholder agricultural productivity and marketing while protecting and enhancing the environment. One Acre Fund, in an effort to improve farming incomes, is introducing more profitable crops and farming techniques to farmers and providing farming inputs in exchange for a share of future revenues.
Several Universities have also opened campuses in the area. These include Moi University (working with SACRED training Institute, www.sti.or.ke), Masinde Muliro University and Kenyatta University among others.
|Local authorities (councils)|
|* 1999 census. Source: |
|* 1999 census. Sources:|
The district has five constituencies:
- Kimilili Constituency
- Webuye Constituency
- Sirisia Constituency
- Kanduyi Constituency
- Bumula Constituency