Factors influencing settlements

Factors influencing settlements

  • Climate. Most people live in the central highlands and Lake Victoria basins because these areas have suitable climate for human settlement and for agricultural production.
  • Soils. Areas with fertile soil such as the central Highlands have dense population because the soil support agricultural production/ areas with poor soil have sparse population e.g most parts of Nyika plateau.

  • Relief. Gently sloping and flats lands facilitate settlement and transportation while rugged slopes/steep landscapes have sparse populations or nil higher and steeper slopes of Mt. Kenya a nd Elgon.
  • Transport network. Transport and communication facilities have encouraged settlements. There are many market centres along the Kenya roads and centres such as Nairobi and Thika, which are, accommodate large population.
  • Industrial development. The development of industries is a major factor influencing population distribution in Kenya. There are many people in the industrial centers such as Nairobi, Nakuru, Mombasa and Eldoret.
  • Disease. Disease and pest discourage or discourages settlement in given areas. In Kenya, the government discourages population settlement schemes such as Mwea.
  • Water supply: Water is essential when building a settlement. People tend to nucleate around water points like oases in deserts and springs for the supply of water.
  • Defensive position: a good defensive location (on a small hill or surrounded by water) was a very important choice of settlement for some communities.
  • Trading Location: Settlements may have also been built for their access to trading routes. Coastal areas often make good locations to trade from.

  • Resources: It is useful being near resources like wood, coal, and gold because you can use them to build things or trade with nearby settlements. Mining areas tend to attract settlement.


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