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What You Need To Know

Kisumu, officially known as Kisumu City (and formerly Port Florence), is the Kenyan inland port city on Lake Victoria and the capital city of Kisumu County, Kenya. At an elevation of 1,131 m (3,711 ft), the city has an estimated population of 500,000, while the metropolitan region comprising the city and its suburbs and satellite towns of Maseno, Kondele and Ahero was estimated at over 1 million in early 2017. It is the third largest city in Kenya after the capital, Nairobi, and the coastal city of Mombasa. Kisumu is the principal city of western Kenya, the immediate former capital of Nyanza Province, the headquarters of Kisumu County and the proposed headquarters of the Lake Region Economic Block, which is a conglomeration of 15 counties in Western Kenya. It is the largest city in western Kenya and the second most important city after Kampala in the greater Lake Victoria basin. Kisumu port was founded in 1901 as the main inland terminal of the Uganda Railway named “Port Florence”. Although trade stagnated in the 1980s and 1990s, it is again growing around oil exports. Kisumu literally means a place of barter trade “sumo”. The city has “Friendship” status with Cheltenham, United Kingdom and “sister city” status with Roanoke, Virginia and Boulder, Colorado, United States.

Population: Estimate 243,721
Area: 460 per square kilometres

Currency

Dunga Beach and Wetlands

Dunga Beach and Wetland is known for its unique eco-cultural attractions due to its biodiversity and cultural rich and diverse papyrus wetland ecosystem and local community respectively. Ecofinder Kenya has established Dunga Wetland Pedagogical Centre at Dunga Beach is a grass-root led intervention whose overarching cardinal goal is empowerment of Dunga Wetland Community and improvement of livelihood security of its people. Therefore, some of the main focuses in the centre are promoting Eco-Cultural Tourism and facilitate the conservation of the Dunga Papyrus Wetland Ecosystem.

 

Language

Swahili and English are the official working languages.

 

Points of interest

Jomo Kenyatta Sports Ground. Attractions in the city include Kibuye Market, Oile Market, the Kisumu Museum, an impala sanctuary, a bird sanctuary, Hippo Point,Shopping malls and the nearby Kit Mikaye and Ndere Island National Park.

Transport

Air

Kisumu Harbour. The green vegetation is water hyacinth. Before the jet airline era, Kisumu was a landing point on the British flying boat passenger and mail route from Southampton to Cape Town. Kisumu linked Port Bell and Nairobi. Kisumu is served by Kisumu Airport which has international status, with regular daily flights to Nairobi and Mombasa. Expansion of the airport cargo facility after completion of the passenger terminals is currently going on in anticipation of increased trade brought about by the recreated East African Community of Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda.

Water

Lake Victoria ferries have operated from the port linking the railway to Mwanza and Bukoba in Tanzania, and to Entebbe, Port Bell, and Jinjain Uganda.The first steam ships built in Kisumu in 1905 were the SS Sybila and the SS Nyanza.

Rail

As mentioned above under ‘History’, the Uganda Railway from the port of Mombasa reached Kisumu in 1901. Currently (2013) no passenger trains are operated between Nairobi and Kisumu. The newer standard gauge railway is currently (2018) being extended from Nairobi to Kisumu and a new passenger terminus is planned for the city

Road

President Kibaki launched a Ksh. 6.8 billion road project for a major overhaul of Kisumu’s road network on 24 July 2009. The city is connected to the cities of Nakuru Nairobi and Mombasa via the A104 highway and to the north rift city of Eldoret via the B1 highway. A 450km lake victoria ring road along the shores of the lake is currently under construction and will pass by the city

Rail and air accidents

During World War II, three aircraft operated by South African Air Force crashed into Lake Victoria soon after take-off from Kisumu Airport. The first, a Lockheed Lodestar aircraft number “K”-248 (ex ZS-ATK) carrying a senior South African military officer, Major General Dan Pienaar, crashed on 19 December 1942, killing all 12 persons on board. The other two crashes involved Douglas C-47 planes; the first on 11 May 1945 (one fatality) and the second exactly three months later, on 11 July 1945 (28 fatalities). The bodies from the two earlier accidents were repatriated to South Africa, those from the third accident are buried in the Kisumu war-graves cemetery. The cause of the accidents is currently thought to be the katabatic wind condition which often affects Kisumu in the early morning. Two serious railway accidents occurred near Kisumu in the 2000s. The first took place outside Kisumu on 15 August 2000. The brakes on the train failed, causing it to roll. Thirteen people were killed and 37 received injuries. The second took place on the morning of 16 October 2005, when a matatu (taxi minibus) was struck by a passenger train. Six people died and 23 more were injured. After that there have been accidents in its major towns with notable black spots:Ojola/Kisian, Kisat bridge, Ahero, Sondu, Awasi just but to mention a few.

 

Weather

Kisumu features a tropical rainforest climate with no true dry season and significant rainfall year-round. January is the driest month while the month of April receives the most rainfall. The average temperature is 22.9 degrees Celsius.