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Kenya Geography

    Location: Eastern Africa, bordering the Indian Ocean, between Somalia and Tanzania

    Geographic coordinates: 1 00 N, 38 00 E

    Map references: Africa

    Area:
    total: 582,650 sq km
    land: 569,250 sq km
    water: 13,400 sq km

    Area—comparative: slightly more than twice the size of Nevada

    Land boundaries:
    total: 3,446 km
    border countries: Ethiopia 830 km, Somalia 682 km, Sudan 232 km, Tanzania 769 km, Uganda 933 km

    Coastline: 536 km

    Maritime claims:
    continental shelf: 200-m depth or to the depth of exploitation
    exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
    territorial sea: 12 nm

    Climate: varies from tropical along coast to arid in interior

    Terrain: low plains rise to central highlands bisected by Great Rift Valley; fertile plateau in west

    Elevation extremes:
    lowest point: Indian Ocean 0 m
    highest point: Mount Kenya 5,199 m

    Natural resources: gold, limestone, soda ash, salt barites, rubies, fluorspar, garnets, wildlife

    Land use:
    arable land: 7%
    permanent crops: 1%
    permanent pastures: 37%
    forests and woodland: 30%
    other: 25% (1993 est.)

    Irrigated land: 660 sq km (1993 est.)

    Natural hazards: recurring drought in northern and eastern regions; flooding during rainy seasons

    Environment—current issues: water pollution from urban and industrial wastes; degradation of water quality from increased use of pesticides and fertilizers; deforestation; soil erosion; desertification; poaching

    Environment—international agreements:
    party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Marine Life Conservation, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands, Whaling
    signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

    Geography—note: the Kenyan Highlands comprise one of the most successful agricultural production regions in Africa; glaciers on Mt. Kenya; unique physiography supports abundant and varied wildlife of scientific and economic value

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Revised 1-Mar-99
Copyright © 1999 Photius Coutsoukis (all rights reserved)