Location

Abaluyia numbered around 3 million in 1999. Kenya's Western Province, the home area for most Abaluyia, is crossed by the Equator. It is bordered on the south by Lake Victoria, on the west by Uganda and the Sio (Suo) River, and on the east by the Kenya Highlands. The northern slopes of Mount Elgon (Masaba) define northern Luyialand.

Western Province is a land of steep hills, minor scarps, and undulating valleys cutting across the high plateaus of the downwarped Lake Victoria basin. Elevations range from about 1,100 m on the shores of Lake Victoria to about 4,300 m at Mount Elgon. Soils are of high to medium fertility and in most years rainfall is adequate for agriculture, though droughts are frequent and even in good growing years there may be a "hungry season" between harvests. Since temperatures are equable year round, there are two growing seasons, one fed by the long rains of March to May, and the other by the short rains of August and September. Most people are peasant farmers, with high male participation in labor migration. With high population densities, marginal lands are cultivated, deforestation and erosion are growing problems, fuelwood and thatching grass are scarce, and, increasingly, farms are too small to be economically viable.

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