Mombasa County is one of the 47 Counties of Kenya. It’s located at coordinates 4.0396° S, 39.6534° E. Initially it was one of the former Districts of Kenya but in 2013 it was reconstituted as a county, on the same boundaries. It is the smallest county in Kenya, covering an area of 229.7 km2 excluding 65 km2 of water mass. The county is situated in the South Eastern part of the former Coast Province. It borders Kilifi County to the North, Kwale County to the South West and the Indian Ocean to the East. Administratively, the County is divided into seven divisions, eighteen locations and thirty sub-locations.
Population-According to the 2009 Kenya Population and Housing Census, the population was 939,370 people comprising of 486,924 males and 452,446 females with a population density of 4,292 people per Km2. Persons living with disabilities constitute about 0.58% of the total population.
Literacy-Mombasa’s education standards have been greatly affected by drug abuse and the al shabab radicalization of youth. A majority of youth at 40% have not made it beyond standard eight. Despite of the fact that a huge number of the youths born in Mombasa have not gone beyond standard eight, Mombasa has several institutions of higher learning most of whose students come from other counties. The county’s low literacy levels are at 91% for males and 81% for females (Kenya Economic survey 2013).
The County is the centre of tourism in the country. It hosts various tourist attractions which are; Fort Jesus, white sandy Beaches, Water Sports, Mombasa Marine National Park, Nature Trail, Historical and Cultural sites and numerous world class Tourist Hotels. Various manufacturing firms have set up base in the County including Bamburi Cement Company at Bamburi. Other industries include petroleum refining, food processing, salt and sand.There is also minimal extraction of coral blocks and ongoing prospects of seabed mining.
Gender inequality in the county is manifested in all spheres of life. These include school enrollment, government institutions and in decision making organs. For example, enrolment rate in schools indicates that 49%, 51% and 48% of those enrolled in pre-primary, primary and secondary schools respectively are girls respectively. In government institutions more than 80%of all the departmental heads and their deputies are men. There is need for the county government to have an affirmative approach towards addressing the gender inequality in the county.
The County is confronted with numerous environmental challenges. There are problems in sewage disposal resulting in untreated or partially treated effluent being discharged into the ocean. The sea beaches are being affected by waste oil. Quarry operations in some areas of the County such as Bamburi, Ngomeni and Mkomani have left open pits that pose environmental hazards. In Changamwe where large number of people lives the petroleum refinery contributes to air pollution. Furthermore the refinery may lead to a disaster of serious proportion. Solid waste collection service cannot cope with waste is generated.
As per the 2009 national census the estimates indicate that 38 % of the population in the county is poor.The number is expected to increase rapidly given the high population growth that is not commensurate with the rate at which investment and employment are created. The immediate causes of poverty in the County are landlessness, high and increasing cost of living, inaccessibility to credit facilities, lack of technical and entrepreneurial skills especially among the youth, unemployment, low incomes, HIV AIDS and gender discrimination. Other factors include poor resource management, poor governance, ignorance and marginalization of the disadvantaged. According to the Basic Report on Wellbeing in Kenya 2005/06, Mwakirunge was ranked the poorest followed by Kisauni. The poor are predominantly squatters living on land owned by absentee landlords.