Elburgon Town

Our home is located in Elburgon Town, Kenya. Elburgon used to be a thriving timber town on the fringes of the Mau Forest in Western Kenya. Large scale deforestation and a government ban on logging has resulted in very high unemployment in Elburgon and the surrounding area. An estimated 100,000 people who were directly or indirectly employed in the timber industry countrywide are reported to have lost their jobs following the logging ban, a third of them from Elburgon town.

The removal of the trees has also resulted in a dramatic fall in the water table, and with ground cover removed dust pollution has become a common feature, compounded by the large hills of smouldering sawdust that still remain. What was a flourishing town is now in the grip of an economic and environmental disaster.

Because of the poverty people commonly die from diseases such as TB, Malaria and of course AIDS (the area around Elburgon has one of the highest death rates from HIV/AIDS in the country). As a result there are a large number of orphaned children in the region, and their numbers increased further as a result of the post-election violence in 2008. In Kenya just 5% of children orphaned by AIDS get any kind of support. Those who are lucky may be cared for by grandparents or the extended family. The less fortunate are forced to live on the streets.

MapElburgon sign