Siaya County


It is one of the counties in the former Nyanza Province in the southwest part of Kenya.

It is bordered by Kakamega County and Vihiga County's to the north, Busia County to the north and Kisumu County to the southeast.

It shares a water border with Homa Bay County which is located to the south of Siaya County. Its capital is Siaya.


  1. Ugenya Constituency
  2. Ugunja Constituency
  3. Alego Usonga Constituency
  4. Gem Constituency
  5. Bondo Constituency
  6. Rarieda Constituency

Physical features


  • Yala
  • Nzoia


  • L. Victoria
  • L. Kanyaboli


  • Yala Swamp


  • Omindo hills
  • Rawalo hills
  • Mbaga hills
  • Odiado hills
  • Akala hills
  • Regea hills
  • Nyambare hills
  • Usenge hills
  • Ramogi hills
  • Rambugu hills
  • Abiero hills
  • Sirafuongo hills
  • Naya hills.


  • Omindo hills plains

Importance of physical features

  • They are a beacon for tourists to the county which result to generation of revenue.
  • They serve as a natural habitat to wild animals and plants.
  • The hills were sometimes declared holy places for worship.
  • The topography of the area is responsible for the weather patterns.

Main types of natural vegetation

  • Forest vegetation

Importance of vegetation

  • Natural habitat to birds’ animal and indigenous plants.
  • It also contributes to the climate of the region.

Map of distribution of the physical features.

People and population

Language groups found

  • The dominant language group in the county is the Luo who are mainly Christians

Areas of high population density

  • Alego and Bondo is the most populated area

Areas of low population density

  • Gem and Rarieda has the least population

Social relations and cultural activities

Traditional way of life of the people


  • Fish and Ugali are the staple foods of the Luo tribe.


  • The Luo people used animal skin as cloths, Men wore the skin to cover their waist and walked bare chest. They did not wear anything of their chest. Women wore the skin to cover their chest and waist. Old wise men wore them on their waist but also on the head.
  • The skin hat was a symbol wisdom.

Songs and dances

  • Song and dance were performed during special occasions like during marriages, harvest, circumcision, sometimes during worship.

Traditional medical practices

  • Consensual core of Luo plant medicine is known by ordinary mothers and their children as well as by recognized healers who had special gifts in healing.


  • Birth and naming

Naming was done considering what season they are in for example different names were given to children born during hunger and harvest times. They had special names for every season. Akeyo is the name given during harvesting, and Apiyo and Adongo are twins, with Apiyo as the name of the first to be born. The first letter of a name also indicates gender: “A” signifies a woman, and “O” for a boy. For example, Otieno would be the name of a boy and Atieno for a girl, both of the same name

  • Initiation

Luo community are among the few tribes in Kenya that do not traditionally circumcise their males as an initiation to manhood. Instead, they remove six teeth from the lower jaw.


  • Harvest

This was an important ceremony among the Luo people in Siaya. A good harvest was followed by festivity. This ensured their survival so it had to be celebrated. Children who were born during this period were given special names to mark the season. The names include Akeyo and Apiyo.

  • Music

 Traditionally, music was the most widely practiced art in the Luo community.

At any time of day or night, music would be made. Music was not played for its own sake. Music was functional, being used for ceremonial, religious, political, incidental purposes. Music was performed during funerals (Tero Buru), to praise the departed, to console the bereaved, to keep people awake at night, and to express pain and agony.

 It was also used during cleansing and chasing away of spirits.

 Music was also played during ceremonies like beer parties (Dodo, ohangla dance), welcoming back the warriors from a war, during a wrestling match (Olengo), during courtship, etc.

Work songs also existed. These were performed both during communal work like building, weeding, etc. and individual work like pounding of cereals, or winnowing.

 Music was also used for ritual purposes like chasing away evil spirits (Nyawawa), who visit the village at night, in rain making, and during divination and healing.

Resources and economic activities


Main cash crops and food crops grown.

  • Cotton, Coffee, Sweet Potatoes Rice, Sugarcane, Kales, Tobacco, indigenous greens, Bananas and Cassava.

The areas where the cash crops are grown.

  • They are mainly grown in Bondo and Alego, Boro, Uranga, Uyoma and Waga.

Types of livestock kept

  • Cattle and poultry


Areas where fishing is practiced

  • Fishing is mainly done in Lake Victoria.
  • Fishing is also done in ponds.


Major forests

  • Bondo forest

Wildlife and tourism

Types of wildlife

  • Crocodile, warthogs, monkey, and birds.

The game parks and reserves

  • Lake Kanyaboli National Reserve which is part of the Yala swamp complex.

Major tourist attractions

  • Kanam Prehistoric Site
  • El'molo Crocodile Park and Lodge
  • Lake Victoria View Point


Traditional industries and the products

  • Fishing
  • Agriculture


Major trading centers

  • Due to strategic reasons Alego and Bondo are the main trading areas.

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