Esoma Online Revision Resources

Settlement - Geography Form 4



A settlement is a built up area where people live together and engage in various human activities. Some settlements however, may not have people living in them permanently, for example, schools and hospitals.

Types of settlements

There are two types of settlements namely: rural settlements and urban settlements.Rural settlements are the built up areas in the countryside. The people living in these settlements are engaged in primary production activities like farming, fishing, mining, lumbering and other extractive activities.

Urban settlements


By the end of this sub-topic, you should be able to identify and explain the factors that influence location of settlements.

Factors influencing location of settlements.

The factors influencing location of settlements can be divided into two categories namely: physical and human factors.

Physical factors

Physical factors are the natural environmental conditions found in the areas where the people settle. They include the following:






Pests and diseases

Human factors

These are factors that influence the way people settle in an area with respect to the economic activities they intend to engage in as well as their social interactions and political influences. They include:

  • Economic factors.
  • Cultural and religious factors.
  • Historical factors.
  • Government policy.
  • Security.
  • Climate

    The two main elements of climate that influence location of settlements are rainfall and temperature. Areas that receive high rainfall which is well distributed as well as moderate temperatures have dense settlements. These climatic conditions favour a variety of agricultural activities.

    On the other hand, arid areas have few and scattered settlements as they support little or no agricultural activities. Areas experiencing high temperatures or very low temperatures may have few or no settlements at all as no agricultural activities can be undertaken. The temperatures may also be uncomfortable for human habitation.

    Economic factors

    People tend to seek and find employment in areas where such activities as farming, mining, fishing, lumbering, transportation, processing and others are taking place. People may settle temporarily or permanently leading to dense settlements.


    The nature of the landscape including terrain and altitude has a great influence on location of settlements. Hilly and rugged regions have few settlements as it is difficult to cultivate and erect dwelling units. On the other hand, gentle low-lying slopes are densely settled.

    Windward sides of mountains have dense settlements as rainfall is high and temperatures are moderate. The leeward sides tend to be arid and sparsely settled. The slopes receiving direct sun's rays in the temperate regions are warmer and therefore attract more settlements than those facing away from the sun.

    Cultural and religious factors

    These are factors that influence the way people settle based on traditions and religious grouping or beliefs. Some land is perceived as ancestral property which can only be handed down through generations. Therefore people tend to settle in their ancestral land.

    Some settlements have come up as a result of affiliations to certain religions e.g. the cities of Jerusalem has grown due to Christianity, Judaism and Islam; the city of Mecca due to Islam and Vatican City due to Catholicism.


    Availability of water, to a great extent, influences the peoples choice of where to settle. Water is essential for domestic purposes and for irrigation. In some instances, it influences fishing and transport activities. Water bodies such as lakes, rivers, oceans and others attract dense settlements. On the other hand, poorly drained areas like swamps, marshes and bogs are homes to disease vectors thus discouraging settlements. Besides, it is difficult to erect buildings on waterlogged ground. Likewise, areas that are devoid of surface water are not attractive to settlements.

    Historical factors

    Many modern day settlements owe their origin to historical events. These include:

  • Migration; Migration of people was triggered by wars between communities, explorations, pressure on land and disease outbreaks such as plagues among others.
  • Displacement of people; This was especially so when colonialists evicted people from their original homes to create land for large scale agriculture.
  • Insecurity; Historically, settlements were set up on perceived secure locations e.g. on hilltops, islands and plateaus.
  • Soil.

    The presence of fertile soils encourages agricultural activities thus attracting settlements. Areas with poor soils discourage agriculture and are therefore sparsely settled. Major river valleys too have deep, fertile alluvial soils and are therefore characterized by dense settlements e.g. the Nile flood plain and Delta in Egypt, the Niger valley and delta in Nigeria and the flood plains of the Ganges River in India.

    Government policy.

    The government creates settlement schemes to settle the landless people. Examples of such schemes include the Mwea Tebere Irrigation and settlement scheme, Lari settlement scheme, Bura along the River Tana, Muhoroni settlement scheme, and Perkerra in Baringo. In Tanzania during the early years of independence, the government introduced the Ujamaa villages on large farms that were communally owned.However, such communally owned farms have since ceased to operate in many areas as a result of the fall of communism internationally.


    Thick vegetation such as that of the dense tropical rainforest discourage settlement. These are inaccessible and are habitat to wild animals and disease vectors. Bushland, thicket and Miombo woodlands harbor tsetse flies which cause trypanosomiasis and nagana or sleeping sickness.

    However, forest vegetation sometimes encourages settlements where such forests are exploited for economic purposes e.g. lumbering.


    This refers to the degree of safety or absence of crime and thuggery. People tend to avoid settling in areas that are prone to crime for their own safety as well as their property. In the arid and semi-arid areas, communities tend to settle in groups or clustered settlements to enable them provide their own security in case of attacks from enemies.

    Pests and diseases.

    Regions infested with disease-causing vectors are sparsely settled as people tend to avoid them. For example, swampy regions form favourable breeding grounds for mosquitoes which causes malaria. Another example is bush and thicket vegetation which is breeding ground for tsetse flies. An example is the Lambwe valley, Kenya and Miombo woodlands in Tanzania.

      Settlement patterns

      A settlement pattern refers to the arrangement or layout of dwellings in a particular place. There are four major settlement patterns namely:

      Nucleated pattern

      Linear pattern

      Scattered settlement

      Radial pattern

      Nucleated pattern

      This type of settlement pattern consists of a cluster of buildings, shops, huts or other forms of dwellings which occur close together. It is also referred to as clustered pattern.


      It develops as a result of the following factors:

      1. Presence of an industrial plant, a natural resource such as a mineral, presence of water among others.
      2. Limitations of building space due to a physical disadvantage for example on a plantation where there is a specific area for houses; on an island, where there is no room for expansion.
      3. Availability of social amenities such as schools, health centres, and shops where people tend to settle in order to enjoy these facilities.
      4. Security concerns where people tend to settle close together especially in banditry prone areas in order to offer collective security.

      Linear pattern

      This one is made up of dwellings that are formed along a line type of feature such as a road, river, canal, coastline or edge of a forest.

      The reasons why such pattern is formed include:

      1. Presence of roads or footpaths for ease of transportation.
      2. Presence of rivers which provide easy transport and/or water for domestic and other uses.
      3. Presence of a coastline that borders a sea or lake with fishing opportunities.
      4. The foot of an escarpment or valley where there is fertile soils that favour agriculture.

      Scattered settlement

      This is also known as dispersed pattern. In this pattern, settlements appear spread over an area at random all over the place. Such pattern is common in rural areas where the landscape is gently sloping, with well drained and fertile soils over a wide area. There are no restrictions to where one settles and land is readily available. Water is also available within easy reach and there is good security.

      Radial pattern

      This pattern is sometimes called the star-shaped pattern. It is common at points where roads converge at a central point or at cross roads. People build their houses along the various roads in all directions. Accessibility to transport is the main factor determining this pattern but economic activities that may develop at the convergence points of the roads also contributes to its growth.

      Distribution of Major Urban Centres in East Africa

      We shall start our discussion by examining the factors that influenced the growth of urban centres in East Africa. They include the following:

      Rapid population increase
      Transport routes and facilities
      Mining activities
      Industrial activities
      Education institutions
      Government policy
      Geographical inertia

      Rapid population increase.

      This leads to land fragmentation which in turn lowers agricultural productivity. People turn to trade and industry which are urban based thus leading to urban growth.

      Transport routes and facilities.

      Many urban areas owe their growth and existence to the presence of transport facilities like roads, railway lines and ports. Road and railway junctions form a nucleus for urban growth leading to emergence of gap towns known commonly bearing the name of Makutano Railway termini too in a way have also lead to growth of some urban centres.

      Mining activities

      Extraction of minerals attracts settlements starting with the miners themselves settling in the areas. This is followed by other service providers like traders, hoteliers and bankers. Towns such as Magadi, Shinyanga in Tanzania and Kasese in Uganda have their origin and growth to mining.

      Identify the minerals mined in each of the named towns.

      Industrial activities

      Industrial activities create employment opportunities at different levels thus attracting settlements. People working in industries live near their places of work to reduce transport costs. They also require certain services such as shops, schools, dispensaries and recreation areas. Other people come in to provide these services, leading to the growth and expansion of the area into a town. Thika and Athi River towns in Kenya and Jinja town in Uganda are examples of towns that have grown as a result of industrial activities.


      Administrative centres are noted to have contributed to development and growth of some towns. People tend to settle where they will access essential administrative services and have adequate security. Most of the provincial and districtheadquarters in Kenya have grown into urban centres. The most notable examples in Kenya include Eldama ravine, Nyeri, Kapenguria and Wundanyi.


      Market centres emerge where trading activities are undertaken. People tend too settle at these centres to offer related services and facilities. The towns of Karatina, Taveta, Busia and Namanga are examples of towns that owe their origin and existence of trading activities.


      Tourist attraction centres or resorts may , over time, develop into towns. Settlements may be attracted to these centres as people seek employment in the industry. There are also other activities related to tourism. These include trade and service industry that may grow up around the tourist resorts. Examples of towns that have grown up in this way include Ukunda on the south coast and Mtwapa on the north coast of Mombasa.

      Education institutions.

      Establishment of education institutions such as colleges and universities has led to the growth of urban centres. The rapid expansion of Eldoret town can be attributed to the establishment and expansion of Moi University and the constituent colleges. The growth of Njoro town can partly be attributed to the presence of Egerton university which started as a college of agriculture and eventually became a university.

      Thika town is also expanding rapidly with the presence of a number of universities within and around, campuses, hostels, colleges and even schools. Makutano town in Meru is home for several education institutions.


      Government policy

      In a bid to curb pollution in urban areas and reduce rural-urban migration, the government may decentralize industries. The rural areas where new industries are set up, grow into urban centres. Athi River town is a good example of a town that has grown up in this way.

      A government may decide to move its capital city to a new location which may be a small town that is more central within the country. This creates an impetus for its growth. Tanzania moved its capital from Dar-es-Salaam to Dodoma, the same way Nigeria moved its capital from Lagos to Abuja.

      Geographical Inertia

      This is the inability of people to move to a new location even though the initial advantages of settling in a place no longer hold. They remain in the same place and this leads to continued population growth and diversification of functions leading to urban growth. For example, Kakamega town was initially  a gold mining town but still grew even  after gold mining had stopped.Another example is that of Kilembe town which has continued to grow even after the closure of the copper mines.

      A case study of an industrial centre of Thika.

      Thika town is located 40 km to the north east of Nairobi, along the Nairobi-Nyeri highway. It started in the 19th century as a market by the Kikuyu and Akamba traders. Today, it has grown into a major industrial town. It is the 8th largest town in Kenya with a total population of 136,576 persons (2009 census).
      Among the major industries in Thika town are: flour milling, bread baking, coffee milling, tanning of hides and skins, light engineering, textile manufacture, paper milling, steelworks, tobacco processing, fruit canning and processing and motor vehicle assembly.

      Factors that led to the growth of Thika town

      The following are some of the factors that led to the growth of Thika town:

    1. Accessibility
    2. High population
    3. Abundant supply of water
    4. Proximity to Nairobi
    5. Availability of land.
    6. vailability of social amenities
    7. Availability of raw materials
    8. Availability of power
    9. Accessibility

      Thika town is easily accessible as it is well connected to the neighbouring regions through the Nairobi-Nyeri highway, the Thika-Garissa road, the Thika-Naivasha road as well as the Nairobi-Nanyuki railwayline. This makes the movement of people, raw material and finished products easy.

      High population

      The neighbouring former districts of Kiambu, Maragua and Muranga, and now the counties of Kiambu and Muranga, have high population. This population provides labour needed in the industries as well as market for a variety of finished products.

      Abundant supply of water

      Water from Rivers Chania and Thika is used both in the industries and homes for domestic purposes.

      Proximity to Nairobi

      Thika town is located near Nairobi. Some of the industries in Nairobi have branches in Thika town. There has also been a policy of decentralizing industries from Nairobi. This led to allocating some industries to Thika, which was in proximity to Nairobi. Industries in Thika can easily access raw materials from Nairobi industries. These include metal bars and sheets for the car assembly and repair industries as well as oil from the Nairobi depots for the cooking oil and cooking fat industries. The large population of Nairobi city provides Thika town with a ready market for its industrial products.

      Availability of land

      The expansive tracts of unoccupied land facilitated establishment of industries. Besides, the land is gently sloping and provides ample room for expansion.

      Availability of social amenities

      There are adequate social amenities such as schools, hospitals, stadia and hotels. There are also waterfalls namely Chania, Thika and Fourteen Falls which are  tourist attraction sites. All these have led to rapid population and economic growth of the town.

      Availability of raw materials

      Thika town is located within a productive county of Kiambu. It is also near another agriculturally productive county of Muranga. These provide food to the town residents as well as agricultural produce for sale among traders. These counties are also a source of raw materials needed in some industries.

      Availability of power.

      Thika town is located along the main lines that transport hydro-electric power from the Seven Forks power projects on Tana River. These supply ample electric power for industrial and domestic use.

      Functions of Thika town

      Thika town is famous as an industrial town. It also performs other functions including being an administrative centre as for some time it has been the district headquarters of Thika District. There are several education institutions including universities, colleges and schools, making it an educational centre. Many commercial and trading activities go on within the town, making it a trading and commercial centre. There are also many banks and financial institutions. It is a focal point of communication lines mainly roads and railways making it a communication centre. There are a number of hotels within the town as well as other tourist attractions which make the town to be a tourist centre. Thika town has several churches and a diocesan cathedral as well as mosques which make it to perform a religious function. It has a big sports stadium as well as a sports club with a golf course which also make the town to be a recreational centre. There are extensive housing estates ranging from the low income group to high income ones. This makes it an important residential centre.

      A case study of a lake port of Kisumu.

      Kisumu town is located on the eastern shores of Lake Victoria at the Winam Gulf. Its history dates back to 1901 when the Kenya-Uganda railway line reached Lake Victoria. At first, the town was known as Port Florence but it later changed to Kisumu, which in Dholuo language means a meeting point. Currently, Kisumu city is one of the largest towns in East Africa, being the third largest in Kenya, after Nairobi and Mombasa cities. It has a population of 259,258 people according to the 2009 population census.

      Factors leading to growth of Kisumu town.

      Kisumu has grown and developed into a leading lake port in East Africa because of the following factors:

    10. Long history.
    11. Strategic location
    12. Industrial growth and development.
    13. High population
    14. Availability of fresh water
    15. Agricultural hinterland.
    16. Availability of power
    17. Presence of education institutions
    18. Tourism.
    19. Administrative services
    20. Long history

      Upon the completion of the Kenya-Uganda railway in 1901, many of the Asians who were involved in railway building settled there and started commercial businesses. These first investment led to the initial growth of the town.

      Strategic location

      Kisumu is strategically located on the shores of Lake Victoria. It is the gateway to Uganda, being the terminus of the Kenya-Uganda railway which connects the Indian Ocean to lake Victoria. Goods from and to Uganda are handled at Kisumu using the lake steemers. It is also a transportation and communication hub for Nyanza and the western region of Kenya. It is also the commercial and industrial focus of the region. As a lake port, it handles regional trade with Uganda and Tanzania.

      Industrial growth and development.

      Kisumu can be described as an industrial town with various industries such as fish processing, textiles, breweries, soft drinks bottling, boat repairs, soap making, printing and molasses processing. These industries have acted as an impetus for the growth of Kisumu city. They have attracted many job seekers which has contributed to growth in population.

      High population

      Areas such as Kakamega, Siaya, Bondo and Vihiga districts which are surrounding Kisumu are densely populated. This population provides adequate labour to the industries in Kisumu town as well as ready market for the finished products.

        Availability of fresh water

        Lake Victoria provides plenty of fresh water which is used both for domestic as well as industrial purposes.

        Agricultural hinterland

        Kisumu is surrounded by regions that are agriculturally productive, especially Western Kenya. Agricultural raw materials provide a base for development of agricultural processing industries such as sugar processing and grain milling. The agricultural hinterland also ensures a steady supply of food to the town residents.

        Availability of power

        Hydro-electric power, initially from Uganda but now available locally has enabled industries to grow and expand.

        Presence of education institutions

        Kisumu town is home to a number of Educational institutions including Maseno University and its constituent colleges, Kisumu Polytechnic, Ramogi Institute of Technology and several schools. These have contributed to the growth of the city.


        Kisumu has several tourist attractions like the museum, the Impala Sanctuary, the granitic tors of Seme e.g. Kit Mikai and Luanda Magere legendary rock. The Winam Gulf and marine wildlife of the lake are also attractions. The tourism sector creates employment and generates income for the local population.

        Functions of Kisumu town

        Kisumu is an important town in the region covering Nyanza and Western Kenya. It performs a number of functions. They include
        Administrative centre

        Tourism centre

        Education centre

        Communication centre

        Industrial centre.

        Religious centre

        Commercial centre

        Agricultural collecting centre

        Recreation centre

        Financial centre

        Administrative centre.

        Kisumu has offices for Provincial administration, as well as for some leading organizations.

        Tourism centre

        Kisumu has many tourist attractions both within and around the city. These make it a converging point for tourists, both domestic and international.

        Education centre.

        Kisumu town with a number of education institutions has made it a centre of learning.

        Communication centre

        Kisumu is a communication centre where roads from Nairobi, Uganda and Northern Kenya converge. It is also a terminus for the Mombasa-Kisumu railway. It has an international airport and is a lake port.

        Industrial centre.

        The town has several manufacturing and processing industries. They include footwear, confectionery, flour milling, furniture making and soap making.

        Religious centre

        The town has several churches and cathedrals as well as mosques and temples which make it a centre for religious activities.

        Commercial centre

        Kisumu is the biggest commercial centre in western and Nyanza regions. It has a variety of shops ranging from small kiosks to large hypermarkets as well as market places.It hosts a branch of the Central Bank and there are several commercial banks as well as financial institutions.

        Agricultural collecting centre.

        Kisumu is in the centre of an agriculturally productive region of Western and Nyanza Provinces. A lot of agricultural produce is brought to the town for sale and distribution. The produce includes foodstuffs, dairy produce and cash crops.

        Recreation centre

        The town has many hotels, a golf club, a sports stadium and entertainment centres.

        Financial centre

        A branch of the Central Bank of Kenya is located within Kisumu city. There are also several commercial banks as well as other financial institutions.

        Administrative services.

        Kisumu has served as the Provincial Headquarters of Nyanza   Province for a long time. It is home to some leading organizations such as the Lake Basin Development Authority. These attract investments and consequent growth of the town.

          A case study of an agricultural collecting centre, Eldoret town.

          Factors that led to the growth of Eldoret Town

          Strategic location

          Eldoret is located strategically along the Nairobi-Kampala international highway. Its nearness to Uganda and Southern Sudan favours its development as a vibrant export centre.

          Rich agricultural hinterland

          The town is located in the heart of some of the richest agricultural districts in Kenya. A lot of agricultural products are processes in Eldoret town. This in turn leads to rapid growth.

          Key collecting centre

          Eldoret has key collecting and export facilities. It has an inland container depot, an oil terminus and depot, an international airport oil pipeline connection, all of which enhance the town's capacity to handle cargo. Being surrounded by rich agricultural districts, it is also an agricultural produce collecting centre for processing and export of agricultural products to other parts of the country and abroad.

          Administrative centre

          Eldoret town has been the headquarters of Uasin Gishu district for a long time and now a county. Leading organizations such as the Kerio Valley Development Authority have their headquarters here. It is a leading regional planning centre for the North Rift Valley region.

          Availability of land

          Extensive tracts of land were readily available during the establishment of the town. The town is located on the Uasin Gishu plateau which is characterized by gently sloping terrain which is suitable for construction of buildings.

          Education facilities

          The town has very many schools, colleges and a few university campuses such as Moi University campuses within and around the town. Eldoret Polytechnic, Mosoriot Teachers College are also in Eldoret.

          Availability of social amenities

          There are sufficient social amenities like cinema halls, discotheques, sports stadia, training camps for athletes and hotels and lodges. These investments offer job opportunities and contribute to the growth of the town.

          Tourist centre

          The town is located in an area with a wide panoramic view of the North Rift Valley especially from the nearby Iten view point. The town has also a number of high class hotels for example Sirikwa, Wagon Wheel and White Castle hotels. It is also a converging point of tourist routes from Uganda, Kisumu, north rift and Nairobi.

          Industrial centre

          The town has many industries such as textile industries namely Ken Knit, Rivatex and Raymond. There are dairy industries such as the New Kenya Co-operative Creameries UHT plant, Flour milling, leather and Tanning factory, the East Africa Tanin and Extract Company, Timber industry such as Raiply Co. Ltd and bottling companies e.g. Rift Valley Bottlers Ltd.

          The high population

          The surrounding regions have very high population. This population provides the labour needed in the industries and a ready market for some of the manufactured products.

          Availability of power

          The town is well connected to the national grid system of electricity distribution which supplies the town with the much needed power to run the industries. Power is also available for lighting the town and for use in homes. This has also contributed immensely to the rapid growth of the town.

          Functions of Eldoret town

          As discussed under growth of this town, it can be observed that Eldoret town performs many functions. It is a communications centre The town is the focal point of roads to Uganda, Kisumu, Nairobi and Lodwar in the north and into Sudan. The railway line from Mombasa to Kampala passes through the town and there is a branch to Kitale. The oil pipeline has its terminus at the oil depot in town. There is also an international airport within the town. There is at least a radio station and post office as well as many internet outlets.

          It is also an administrative centre as it hosts the headquarters of the Uasin Gishu county, law courts as well as other organizations. It has a strong tow council headed by a mayor.
          The town is an education centre with very many schools, colleges and university campuses. It also has a Kenya polytechnic. Many students from all over the country come here to seek education.

          It is a financial centre with a branch of the Central Bank of Kenya located here. There are also several commercial banks and other financial institutions in the town.
          Eldoret town is an agricultural collecting centre. Its location within an agricultural region makes it ideal as a centre for agricultural produce. These are sold to town residents while others are either processed or sold directly to areas outside the town.

          It is an industrial centre with several processing industries for agricultural produce, timber, leather and textiles. It is also a tourism centre with several attractions within the neighbourhood and hotels for accommodating tourists after their tours of the surrounding regions.

          The town is also a religious centre with several churches, cathedrals and mosques to cater for the relatively high population in the area. It is also a recreation centre with sports stadia, hotels, sports golf club, entertainment halls and night clubs. Eldoret is also a residential centre with several housing estates and units for the high, medium and low income groups.

          Related studies of Nairobi and New York.

          The following factors have contributed to the growth of Nairobi city:


          Nairobi is the leading industrial city in East Africa. Many industries have come up in and around the city, thereby contributing to its growth. Among them are motor vehicle assembly, brewing, soft drinks bottling, milk processing, textile manufacture, fruit canning, electronics, light and heavy engineering and confectioneries.


          Nairobi is the capital city and the seat of government. It is also the provincial headquarters of Nairobi province and soon to be a county. It currently hosts several district headquarters.

          Education centre

          Many learning institutions are located in Nairobi. These include University of Nairobi, Kenyatta University, United States International University, Methodist University, Strathmore University and many campuses for other local and international universities. There are also a host of middle level colleges both private and public and very many schools. These attract thousands of students and teachers from all over the world.

          Population immigration

          The various industries, education institutions and other functions and activities in Nairobi attract a lot of job seekers, scholars and settlers. This has immensely contributed to the growth of Nairobi. The immigrants are both local and international.


          Nairobi is a major tourism destination with its unique tourist attractions among them, the Nairobi National Park, nature trail, giraffe centre, cultural centres at Bomas of Kenya, the snake park, animal orphanage, Kenya Museum and Archives library, and several five-star hotels. Hotels include Laico Regency, Serena Hotel, The Norfork Hotel, New Stanley Hotel, Safari Park Hotel and Utalii hotel. All these have led to enhancement of tourism activities.


          Nairobi is easily accessible both locally and internationally. It has the Jomo Kenyatta International airport and Wilson airport, an elaborate road network linking Nairobi to the rest of the countryand neighbouring countries and the Kenya-Uganda railwayline. This has led to increased economic activies and subsequent growth.   

          International centre

          Nairobi has modern conference facilities e.g. the Kenyatta International Conference Centre. A number of international organizations have their headquarters in Nairobi. They include the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP), International Laboratory in Research on Animal diseases (ILRAD), U.N. Habitat, International Centre for Insect Physiology and Ecology (ICIPE) and International Centre for Research in Agroforestry (ICRAF). These organizations have the personnel hosted in Nairobi which has also enhanced growth.

          Challenges facing Nairobi city

          Despite the tremendous growth of Nairobi city, several challenges have cropped up. They include


          Rural-urban migration has contributed to a large number of youths flocking the city in search of employment. The rate of growth of the city can't match the rate of influx of immense numbers of people, hence the high rate of unemployment. This lowers the living standards of many people in the city.

          INSERT:  Photographs or video clips of long queues of job seekers e.g. during recruitment exercise or at the gates of construction sites.

          Inadequate housing

          High demand for houses is caused by the high population increase and has led to high house rent which is unaffordable for the many low income earners. This has led to the mushrooming of slums e.g. Mathare, Kibera, Mukuru, Korogocho and Soweto among others.


          The dense population in Nairobi generates tones of domestic garbage on a daily basis. This is sometimes poorly disposed of, causing land pollution evidenced by heaps of garbage. Industries and motor vehicles cause noise and air pollution due to emissions of smoke. A lot of waste and toxic industrial waste is disposed into rivers thus harming aquatic life and rendering river water unsuitable for human use.

          Traffic congestion

          Heavy traffic during the rush hours causes slow movement of motor vehicles and sometimes it comes to a standstill. This is a common daily occurrence on Uhuru Highway, Langata Road, Mombasa road, Outering road among many others.

          Inadequate social amenities

          There is an acute shortage of schools, hospitals, stadia and recreation facilities due to the increased population. This has resulted in congestion and run down of facilities and therefore rendering poor services to the residents of the city.

          Crime and insecurity

          Nairobi has been experiencing an increase in crime rate due to unemployment and slow rate of economic growth in the country. Consequently, criminal incidents such as carjacking, muggings, drug trafficking, prostitution, kidnapping and rape are quite common, leading to insecurity.

          New York

          New York is one of the largest cities in the United States of America (U.S.A.). It is located on the mouth of Hudson River and is mainly situated on islands in the Atlantic Ocean and partially on the mainland. The islands are mainly Long Island, Staten Island, Manhattan and Jersey Islands. New York is a cosmopolitan city with a population of about 10 million people.

          Factors that led to the growth of New york city

          It was started by the native American Indians who named it Manhattan. Later on the Dutch re-named it New Amsterdam. When the British took over in 1664, they re-named it New York. Since then, the city has grown into one of the major cities of the world. Since then the city has grown into one of the major cities of the world due to the following factors:

          Presence of a sea port

          International centre

          Transport and communication centre

          Education and cultural centre

          Industrial centre

          Recreational and cultural centre

          Presence of a sea port

          The construction of the New York State Barge Canal linked River Hudson to Lake Erie in the interior. The bulk of agricultural and industrial products from the Great Lakes region pass through New York city, leading to its growth. New York port handles up to 25% of all North America's trade.

          International centre

          Several international organizations have their headquarters in New York, for example, the United nations, the World Bank and the International monetary Fund.

          Transport and communication centre

          Apart from the sea port, New York is connected to the rest of the world is the international airports namely John F. Kennedy, Newark and La Guardia. There are bridges, tunnels, ferries and railway lines connecting the islands of New York to the interior.

          Education and cultural centre

          New York has numerous universities, colleges, schools and training institutions. These institutions accommodate people of all races both from the U.S.A. and other parts of the world.   


          Industrial centre

          Newyork is a leading industrial centre in N. America. it has both light and heavy industries including ship buildings, engineering, oil refining chemical industry, food processing, leather and textiles , publishing and printing among others.

          Recreational and cultural centre

          There are night clubs and casinos, cinema halls, social halls, arena and parks for example central park and Madson square Garden. These attrats both local and international

          New Yorks growth however succeful in facing some serious challenges among theme

          1. Most of the immigrants in New York are unskilled making them unable to source jobs, thus lending to unemployment
          2. Traffic congestion caused by over 800,000 motions who venture into New York daily. This causes delay in the delivery of goods and smiles
          3. Pollution, the many industries and heavy traffic causes, water and sound or noise pollution thus posing heath risks to residents

          Study of Mombasa As A Port

          Mombasa is the largest port on the E. African coast and the second largest town in Kenya after Nairobi.Located 390E and 40s of the equator on the shores of the Indian Ocean.

          Mombasa started as a small settlement during the era of slave trade.It was established as a resting place and a calling port for the long distance traders between the Shirazi, Arabs and Bantus.It served as a provision deport and collection centre for caravan of ivory and slaves enrooted to Middle East and India.

          Factors that have led the growth of Mombasa city

          Factors that have led the growth of Mombasa city include,Presence of a deep sheltered habour at Kilindini with the ability to handle import and export items in and out of East and central Africa

          The Mombasa port is fully equipped with modern equipment for handling bulky cargo

          Presence of large hinter land

          The port of Mombasa serves an extensive area of east and central Africa including the whole of Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Easter DRC. And southern Sudan.  The areas are rich agriculturally and have plenty of mineral resources.

          Strategic location

          Mombasa is strategically located along the East African Coast.  Its a portt with world connections, ships from Europe through either the suez canal or cape of good hope to Asia pass through Mambasa .  ships from far east to southern African pass through Mombasa

          Tourist and cultural centre

          The town has many tourists attraction features for examples, the warm sandy beaches, water sports, historical sites, archeological and architectural designs, a rich cultural heritage and tourists hotels.


          Several industries have been put up for example the oil refineries, Bamburi cement, metal works, ship repair, food processing motor vehicle assembly, meat processing among others.  These create employment thus attracting many people

          Apart from the benefits of urbanization, there are number of problems associated with it namely:-

          1. Environmental degradation industries located in the urban centres pollute the air through emission of smoke and fumes from motor vehicle exhaust.  Domestic waste and industrial effluents are dumped in river causing water pollution.  Noise pollution is experienced from factories, Motor vehicles, night clubs and trains.  This could lead to partial of full loss hearing ability

          Insert video clip of the various sources of environmental pollution common in urban areas

          1. Crime and insecurity, this is caused by the high levels of employment in the towns.  The mainly youthful population of immigrants into the urban areas easily engage in criminal activities as an alternative way of earning a living

          Insert photography of the rowdy youths causing insecurity during the post election violence in 2007/2008

          1. inadequate housing, the demand in houses is higher than the supply, this raises the house rents.  The low income earners end up settling in informal settlements known as slums or ghettos which have inadequate facilities

          insert video clips of informal settlements in Nairobi to show the deportable conditions as a sign of poverty

          1. inadequate social amenities, this causes these to be congestion in schools social halls, hospital, stadia, recreational parks, others provisions of these facilities is mainly hampered by the rapid increase in the population in the urban areas.

          Insert video of people in the recreational parks/centres congested schools, hospitals and studia

          1. Traffic congestion, the population of motor vehicles grows as a faster rate than the rate of roads expansion or construction thus resulting on a stain on the existing roads especially during rush hours which are characterized by traffic jams

          insert video clips/photos of the traffic gridlocks during rush hours, or slow moving vehicles.

          1. Juvenile delinquency and emergence of street families.  Young usually underage or school going aged children tends to engage themselves in criminal activities like pick pocketing and vandalizing vehicles.  Street families emerge as a result of desperation as these people cannot afford any form of housing for their families.  they rely on well wishers to offer themselves

          Insert video clips of the delinquents (chokora) or street urchins salvaging through heaps of garbage.  show video clips of street families with the children soliciting for arms

          1. Urban sprawls, this is the rapid expansion and invasion of urban activities such as settlement into the adjacent agricultural lands which leads to lower food production

          Insert photography of housing estates extending into areas bordering urban areas. E.g. Runda Estate, Nairobi, encouraging on coffee farms in Kiambu district.

          Rotterdam Port

          Rotterdam port is located at the mouth of R. reline which draws its waters into North Sea. Rotterdam port and industrial zone stretches about 40 km covering an area of approximate 10,500 ha. Rotterdam is the largest and busiest port in the world in terms of the amount of cargo it handles daily.  Its origin can be traced back to the first half of the 19th centaury as a small port in Netherlands.  With time the port has expanded and grown into one of the busiest ports in the world

          Factors that led to the growth of Rotterdam port

          Rotterdam port has expanded and grown into one of the busiest ports in the world due to the following factors:

          Deep harbours and channels with time deep canals have been constructed along the Rotterdam port this enabling it to handle large ships.Due to this the port is able to handle such larger volume of trade.

          Strategic location:

          Rotterdam is a focal point for sea routes to and from Europe, Africa, America and Asia. This has made Rotterdam to become a port of call, service point and resting place for ship crew.

          Warm, climatic conditions,

          The presence of the north atlantic drift ocean current keeps the port frost free through the year.This allows for operations at the port to be undertaken even during winter period

          Presence of large and rich interland.

          This covers Switzerland, germany, Australia, france, Belgium, Netherlands and Luxembourg. Roterdam is corrected to the interior of Europe through many navigavle rivers e.g. R. Rline, Rhone, Danube, oder and Elbe. Tropical products from Africa, Asia and America are shipped to the interior through R. Rline

          Availability of modern shipping facilities

          These include coal and oil terminals, container terminals loading and off-loading equipments, berths, wharves and quays. The enables the port to handle a large volume of cargo and can serve many ships at the same time.

          Effects of Urbanization

          The effect of urbanization can either be positive or negative. Some of the positive effects include:

          1. Encourages national unity as people from different ethnic backgrounds come together and interact
          2. Improved communication networks in urban centres tend to promote links between countries and regions
          3. Urbanization is characterized by increased industrial activities which creates employment therefore raising the peoples standards of living
          4. Urbanization leads to the development of infrastructure within and around urban areas thus making these facilities more accessible
          5. The large population in urban centres provides a ready market for agricultural and industrial products therefore encouraging increased production

          Negative Effects

          Apart from the benefits of urbanization, there are number of problems associated with it namely:

          Environmental degradation

          Industries located in the urban centres pollute the air through emission of smoke and fumes from motor vehicle exhaust.Domestic waste and industrial effluents are dumped in river causing water pollution. Noise pollution is experienced from factories, Motor vehicles, night clubs and trains.  This could lead to partial of full loss hearing ability

          Crime and insecurity

          This is caused by the high levels of employment in the towns. The mainly youthful population of immigrants into the urban areas easily engage in criminal activities as an alternative way of earning a living

          Inadequate housing

          The demand in houses is higher than the supply, this raises the house rents.The low income earners end up settling in informal settlements known as slums or ghettos which have inadequate facilities

          Inadequate social amenities

          This causes these to be congestion in schools social halls, hospital, stadia, recreational parks, others provisions of these facilities is mainly hampered by the rapid increase in the population in the urban areas.

          Traffic congestion

          The population of motor vehicles grows as a faster rate than the rate of roads expansion or construction thus resulting on a stain on the existing roads especially during rush hours which are characterized by traffic jams

          Juvenile delinquency and emergence of street families

          Young usually underage or school going aged children tends to engage themselves in criminal activities like pick pocketing and vandalizing vehicles.Street families emerge as a result of desperation as these people cannot afford any form of housing for their families.  They rely on well wishers to offer themselves

          Urban sprawls

          This is the rapid expansion and invasion of urban activities such as settlement into the adjacent agricultural lands which leads to lower food production.

          Order this CD Today to Experience the Full Multimedia State of the Art Technology!

          For Best results INSTALL Adobe Flash Player Version 16 to play the interactive content in your computer. Test the Sample e-Content link below to find out if you have Adobe Flash in your computer.

          Sample Coursework e-Content CD

          Other Goodies for KCSE ONLINE Members!

          Coursework e-Content CD covers all the topics for a particular class per year and costs 1200/- ( Per Subject per Class ).

          Purchase Online and have the CD sent to your nearest Parcel Service. Pay the amount to Patrick 0721806317 by M-PESA then provide your address for delivery of the Parcel. Alternatively, you can use BUY GOODS TILL NUMBER 827208 Ask for clarification if you get stuck.

          Install ADOBE Flash Player for Best Results

          For Best results INSTALL Adobe Flash Player Version 16 to play the interactive content in your computer. Test the link below to find out if you have Adobe Flash in your computer.


          Subject Menu