Nyanza Province

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Mkoa wa Nyanza
Location in Kenya.
Location in Kenya.
Coordinates: 0°30′S 34°40′E / 0.500°S 34.667°E / -0.500; 34.667Coordinates: 0°30′S 34°40′E / 0.500°S 34.667°E / -0.500; 34.667
Country Kenya
No. of Counties:6
 • Total12,477.1 km2 (4,817.4 sq mi)
 (2009 Census)
 • Total5,442,711
 • Density440/km2 (1,100/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+3 (EAT)
The capital of Kenya's Nyanza Province, on Lake Victoria, is Kisumu (click to enlarge map)

Nyanza Province (Kenyan English[ˈɲaːnzə]; Swahili: Mkoa wa Nyanza) was one of Kenya's eight administrative provinces before the formation of the 47 counties under the 2010 constitution. Six counties were organised in the area of the former province.

The region is located in the southwest part of Kenya around Lake Victoria, includes part of the eastern edge of Lake Victoria, and is inhabited predominantly by the Luo people. There are also Bantu-speaking tribes, such as the Gusii, the Kuria, and some Luhya, living in the province. The province derives its name from Nyanza, a Bantu word which means a large mass of water.

The provincial capital was Kisumu, the third-largest city in Kenya. The province had a population of 4,392,196 at the 1999 census within an area of 16.162 km², or 12.613 km² of land.

The climate is tropical humid.


The following counties make up the area of the former Nyanza province:

Code County Former Province Area (km2) Population
Census 2009
41 Siaya Nyanza 2,496.1 842,304 Siaya
42 Kisumu Nyanza 2,009.5 968,909 Kisumu
43 Homa Bay Nyanza 3,154.7 963,794 Homa Bay
44 Migori Nyanza 2,586.4 917,170 Migori
45 Kisii Nyanza 1,317.9 1,152,282 Kisii
46 Nyamira Nyanza 912.5 598,252 Nyamira
Totals 12,477.1 5,442,711

Districts after 2007[edit]

Several new districts were created in 2007 in Kenya, also in Nyanza Province:[1]

District Capital
Bondo Bondo
Borabu Nyansiongo
Gucha Ogembo
Homa Bay Homa Bay
Kisii Kisii
Kisumu East Kisumu town
Kisumu West Holo
Kuria West District Kehancha
Kuria East District Kegonga
Masaba Keroka
Migori Migori
Nyamira Nyamira
Nyando Awasi
Rachuonyo Kosele
Rarieda Madiany
Rongo Rongo
Siaya Siaya
Suba Sindo


The predominant language in Nyanza is Dholuo, a Nilotic language whose origins are from Southern Sudan. It is spoken by the ethnic Luo.

Other languages include Gusii, Luhya, Kuria, and Suba and the national languages of English and Swahili. Other languages from the many Kenyan communities are also spoken in small pockets by migrants from these communities.

Notable residents[edit]

  • Wycliffe Olang Okech (Ja God-keyo) Works at Medecins Sans Fronties
  • Tom Mboya, politician and former minister
  • Barack Obama Sr., was born in Nyanza Province. Economist with the government, he was educated in the United States, in Hawaii and Massachusetts. He was the father of the President Barack Obama (2009-2017) of the United States, who was born in Hawaii.
  • Jaramogi Oginga Odinga, independence fighter and socialist politician
  • Raila Odinga, son of Jaramogi Oginga Odinga, he is a politician and the leader of Opposition in Kenya.
  • Bethwell Allan Ogot, historian
  • Achieng Oneko, independence fighter and socialist politician
  • Chrispine Otwal, civil engineer, current Chief Civil Engineer of Warren Enterprises, Ltd.[citation needed]
  • Robert Ouko, politician and former minister
  • James Joshua Nyamori, Advocate, one of the first African Lawyers in Kisumu. He was the father of Hannington Nyamori, a project management specialist and Joshua Odhiambo Nyamori, a local political figure.
  • Ismael Atudo, a former student leader at Maseno University, a 2017 Kisumu County Kenya Senate aspirant and the CEO of Nima East Africa Ltd
  • Thomas Risley Odhiambo the founder of ICIPE{clarify|what does this stand for?|date=May 2019}} an international research center. He is still considered[by whom?] one of the greatest entomologists that ever lived.

Villages and settlements[edit]


External links[edit]