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Kenya Geography 1996

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

    • Map references:

    • Area:

        total area:
        582,650 sq km

        land area:
        569,250 sq km

        comparative area:
        slightly more than twice the size of Nevada

    • Land boundaries:
      total 3,446 km, 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

    • International disputes:
      administrative boundary with Sudan does not coincide with international boundary; possible claim by Somalia based on unification of ethnic Somalis

    • 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

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

    • Land use:

        arable land:

        permanent crops:

        meadows and pastures:

        forest and woodland:


    • Irrigated land:
      520 sq km (1989)

    • 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

        natural hazards:

        international agreements:
        party to - Biodiversity, Climate Change, 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 - Desertification

    • 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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