Swahili Kirinyaga, volcano, central Kenya, lying immediately south of the Equator. It is the second highest mountain in Africa after Kilimanjaro, which is located some 200 miles (320 km) to the south. The Mount Kenya area was added to UNESCO's World Heritage List in 1997. Afromontane moorland of tussocky grasses, giant groundsel, and lobelias on the slopes of Mount The base of the mountain lies at some 5,250 feet (1,600 metres). At the 8,000-foot (2,440-metre) contour, the circumference is approximately 95 miles (153 km). Its summit area is characterized by steep, pyramidal peaks, principal among which are Batian (17,058 feet [5,199 metres]), Nelion (17,022 feet [5,188 metres]), and Point Lenana (16,355 feet [4,985 metres]). This long-extinct volcano is much eroded, and the highest peaks consist of the crystalline nephelinesyenite that plugged the former vent. Radiating from the central peaks are ridges separated by seven principal valleys. Several small, retreating glaciers, of which Lewis and Tyndall are the largest, feed the streams and marshes on the mountain's slopes. A markedly radial drainage is characteristic, but all streams eventually flow into the Tana River or the Ewaso Ng'iro River. Mount Kenya supports a succession of distinctive, elevation-based vegetation zones. Grassland (with species of Acacia and Themeda) covers the basal plateau in the west and north, and grasses and low trees dominate in the south and east. Beginning at about 6,000 feet (1,800 metres), a ring of dense forest covers the slopes up to about 10,000 feet (3,000 metres). Cedar and yellowwood are prominent on the drier western and northern flanks. On the upper margins of the foresti.e., from about 8,000 feet (2,400 metres)bamboo predominates, although these species decrease markedly in height with increasing elevation and merge into the succeeding zone of giant heather. Above a transition zone (11,00012,000 feet [3,4003,700 metres]) is the so-called high moorland, a peculiar zone of Afro-Alpine vegetation. This gives way to mosses and lichens, which grow up to about 15,000 feet (4,600 metres). Above that there are only bare rock, glaciers, and other regions of ice and snow. Mount Kenya National Park (1949) covers 277 square miles (718 square km), including much of the lower skirts of the mountain. The park and its environs contain a variety of large animals, including elephant, buffalo, black rhinoceros, and leopard. Several endangered and rare species, such as sunni buck and albino zebra, also live there. The fertile lower slopes are cultivated by the Kikuyu and the related Embu and Meru peoples. The Kikuyu, who refer to the mountain as Kirinyaga, or Kere-Nyaga (Mountain of Whiteness), traditionally revere it as home to their omnipotent deity Ngai. Johann Ludwig Krapf was the first European to see the mountain (1849), and it was partially climbed by the Hungarian explorer Smuel, Grf (count) Teleki (1887), and the British geologist John Walter Gregory (1893). The British geographer Halford John Mackinder was the first to reach the summit, along with the Swiss guides Csar Ollier and Joseph Brocherel, in 1899. The town of Nanyuki, which is about 120 miles (190 km) north of Nairobi by rail, lies at the northwestern foot of the mountain; both Nanyuki and Naro Moru (to the west) are chief bases for ascents. The economy At the time of independence, Kenya's economy was characterized by a large traditional sector based on subsistence agriculture and the barter of goods, by a heavy dependence on foreign exchange for agricultural exports such as coffee and tea, and by a strong bond with the international economic system. Since 1963 the government has pursued a policy dedicated to a mixed economy of both privately owned and state-run enterprises. Most of Kenya's business is in private hands (with a great deal of investment by foreign firms), but the government also shapes the country's economic development through various regulatory powers and parastatals, or enterprises that it partly or wholly owns. The aim of this mixed economic policy has been to achieve economic growth and stability, to generate employment, and to maximize foreign earnings by maintaining the important agricultural exports while substituting domestically produced goods for goods that are traditionally imported. For a decade after independence, the policy showed great promise as rising wages, employment, and government revenue provided the means for expanding health services, education, and transportation and communication. But owing to setbacks, beginning with the rise of oil prices in 1973 and aggravated since then by periodic drought and accelerating population growth, Kenya's economy has proved unable to maintain a favourable balance of trade while addressing the problems of chronic poverty and growing unemployment. Agriculture Although agriculture continues to dominate Kenya's economy, its share of the gross domestic product (GDP) declined from 42 percent in 1964 to 30 percent by 1987. Agriculture feeds the manufacturing sector with raw materials and supplies tax revenue and foreign exchange to support the rest of the economy. Cooperative workers drying coffee on racks, Nyeri, Kenya. Coffee and tea have continued to be the key foreign exchange earners. Other products that support external trade are pyrethrum, cotton, sisal, fruits, wattle bark, cashew nuts, and horticultural produce. For domestic consumption, the major farm products are corn (maize), potatoes, sugar, livestock, and poultry. Most of the country's livestock is raised in the arid regions by nomadic pastoral peoples who tend to keep them as a form of wealth rather than sell them for slaughter. Commercial stock raising is confined to small farms and large ranches, which raise animals for meat, hides, skins, and wool. Despite the importance of agriculture to the economic well-being of the country, there are serious constraints on further expansionin particular, the scarcity of water and the high cost of technological inputs. The land Relief The 38th meridian divides Kenya into two halves of striking diversity. While the eastern half slopes gently to the coral-backed seashore, the western portion rises more abruptly through a series of hills and plateaus to the Eastern Rift Valley, known in Kenya as the Central Rift. West of the Rift is a westward-sloping plateau, the lowest part of which is occupied by Lake Victoria. Within this basic division, Kenya is divided into the following geographic regions: the Lake Victoria basin, the Rift Valley and associated highlands, the eastern plateau forelands, the semiarid and arid areas of the north and south, and the coast. The Lake Victoria basin is part of a plateau rising eastward from the lakeshore to the Central Rift highlands. The lower part, forming the lake basin proper, is itself a plateau area lying between 3,000 and 4,000 feet (900 and 1,200 metres) above sea level. The rolling grassland of this plateau is cut almost in half by the Kano Rift Valley, into which an arm of the lake known as Winam, or Kavirondo, Bay extends eastward for 50 miles (80 kilometres). The floor of the Kano Rift Valley, called the Kano Plain, merges north and south into highlands characterized by a number of extinct volcanoes. These include Mount Elgon, rising to 14,178 feet (4,321 metres) at the Ugandan border on the extreme north of the basin. The Central Rift Valley splits the highlands region into two sections: the Mau Escarpment to the west and the Aberdare Range to the east. The valley itself is from 30 to 80 miles wide, and its floor rises from about 1,500 feet in the north around Lake Rudolf (in Kenya called Lake Turkana) to over 7,000 feet at Lake Naivasha but then drops to 2,000 feet at the Tanzanian border in the south. The floor of the rift is occupied by a chain of shallow lakes separated by extinct volcanoes. Lake Naivasha is the largest of these, the others including lakes Magadi, Nakuru, Bogoria, and Baringo. West of the valley, the diverse highland area runs from the thick lava block of the Mau EscarpmentMount Tinderet complex northward to the Uasin Gishu Plateau. East of the Rift, the Aberdare Range rises to nearly 10,000 feet. The eastern highlands extend from the Ngong Hills and uplands bordering Tanzania northward to the Laikipia Plateau. Farther east they are linked by the Nyeri saddle to Mount Kenya, the country's highest peak, at 17,058 feet (5,199 metres). The relief of both highlands is complex and includes plains, deep valleys, and mountains. Important in the history and economic development of Kenya, the region was the focus of European settlement. The eastern plateau forelands, located just east of the Rift highlands, are a vast plateau of ancient rocks sloping gently to the coastal plain. They are a region of scattered hills and striking elevated formations, the most prominent being the Taita, Kasigau, Machakos, and Kitui hills. These hills form islands of more favourable climatic regimes and are surrounded by regions of greater aridity that make up the traditional famine areas. The semiarid and arid areas in the north and northeast are part of a vast arid region extending from the Ugandan border to include Lake Rudolf and much of the plateau area between the Ethiopian and Kenyan highlands. (The area from Lake Magadi southward, though not as arid, shares the same characteristics.) There is scanty tree and grass cover here, but the areas of true desert are limited to the Chalbi Desert east of Lake Rudolf. The movement of people and livestock is strictly limited by the availability of water. The coastal plain proper, which runs for about 250 miles along the Indian Ocean, is a narrow strip only about 10 miles wide in the south, but in the Tana River lowlands to the north it broadens to about 100 miles. Farther northeast, it merges into the lowlands of Somalia. The coast has excellent natural harbours, of which Mombasa is the best in East Africa. Drainage The major features of the drainage pattern of Kenya were created by the ancient crustal deformation of a great oval dome that arose in the west-central part of the country and created the Central Rift. This dome produced a primeval watershed from which rivers once drained eastward to the Indian Ocean and westward to the Congo system and the Atlantic Ocean. Still following this ancient pattern are the Tana and Galana rivers, which arise in the eastern highlands and flow roughly southeast to the Indian Ocean. West of the Central Rift, however, the major streams now drain into Lake Victoria. These include the Nzoia, Yala, Mara, and Nyando rivers. Between the eastern and western systems, the rifting of the dome's crust has created a complex pattern of internal streams that feed the major lakes. Apart from the Tana River, most of the rivers of Kenya are short or ephemeral, disappearing in dry seasons. There are no major groundwater basins. Lake Victoria, extending over 26,828 square miles, is the largest lake in Africa and the second largest freshwater body in the world. Lake Rudolf, some 150 miles long and 20 miles wide, is the largest of the country's Rift Valley lakes. Other lakes are rather small and suffer large fluctuations in surface area. The people Ethnicity, language, and religion The African peoples of Kenya, who account for about 98 percent of the total population, are divided into three main language groups. The largest of these is the Bantu group, which forms about two-thirds of the population and is largely concentrated in the southern third of the country. Bantu peoples occupying the fertile Central Rift highlands include the Kikuyu, Embu, Mbere, Kamba, and Tharaka. In the Lake Victoria basin they include the Luhya and Gusii. The remainder of Kenyan Africans belong to the Nilotic and Cushitic language groups. The Nilotes, represented by the Luo, Kalenjin, Masai, and related peoples, make up about one-quarter of the total population. The rural Luo inhabit the lower parts of the western plateau draining into Lake Victoria, while the Kalenjin-speaking people occupy the higher parts of the plateau. The Masai are pastoral nomads in the southern region bordering Tanzania, and the related Turkana pursue the same occupation in the arid northwest. The Cushitic-speaking peoples, who inhabit the arid and semiarid regions of the north and northeast, constitute only between 3 and 4 percent of Kenya's population. They are divided between the Somali, bordering Somalia, and the Oromo, bordering Ethiopia. The Cushitic peoples pursue a pastoral livelihood in areas that are subject to famine, drought, and desertification. Apart from the African population, Kenya is home to various ethnic groups that immigrated during colonial rule from India and Pakistan. Referred to in Kenya as Asians, they are divided on the basis of religious affiliation into Hindus, Muslims, and Sikhs. Although many left after independence, a substantial number remain in urban areas such as Mombasa, Nairobi, and Kisumu. European Kenyans, mostly British in origin, are the remnant of the farming and colonial population. At the time of independence, most Europeans emigrated to southern Africa, Europe, and elsewhere. Most of those remaining are to be found in the large urban centres of Nairobi and Mombasa. Arabs (mostly the products of marriages between Arabs and Africans) live along the coast. Although all observe Islam, they are divided between the old Arabs, descended from Arabs who arrived before the 16th century, and the true Arabs, originating with the establishment of Arab hegemony in Zanzibar in the 19th century. Although a wide variety of languages are spoken in Kenya, the lingua franca is Swahili. This multipurpose language, which evolved along the coast from elements of local Bantu languages, Arabic, Persian, Portuguese, Hindi, and English, is the language of local trade and is also used (along with English) as an official language in the National Assembly and the courts. In 1974 it became the official language, replacing English. Kenya has no state religion. However, the majority of the Africans are members of the Roman Catholic, Anglican, and other Protestant churches. These religious affiliations are the outcome of early missionary activities, which assisted in the administrative pacification of the country during colonial times. Population growth In the late 20th century an accelerating population growth emerged as a serious constraint on social and economic development in Kenya. During the first quarter of the century, the total population was less than four million, and it was growing at a rate that would have doubled the population in 50 years. By the time of the 1948 census, the population had surpassed five million and was doubling every 30 years. By independence in 1963, the population had exceeded eight million and was doubling every 23 years, and by 1984 it had exceeded 19 million and the doubling time had been reduced to 18 years. The pressure of such a population explosion has been felt in limited employment opportunities, in the rising cost of education, health services, and food imports, and in the country's inability to generate the resources to build housing in both urban and rural areas. The most important cause of this explosive growth has been a sharp fall in mortality ratesespecially infant mortalityand a traditional preference for large families.
Meaning of KENYA, MOUNT in English
Britannica English vocabulary. Английский словарь Британика. 2012