Regional Institute for Social Enterprise (RISE) office is located in Bazaar Market, Migwani Location, Migwani District, within Mwingi Sub County of Kitui County. It is approximately 190 km from Nairobi, and about 18 km to the south of Mwingi town. RISE Kenya is registered as a NGO under the NGO Board of Kenya.
Kitui County (including Mwingi) has a population of 1,012,709 domiciled in an area of approximately 20,402 km2 of which 690.3 km2 is occupied by the Tsavo National Park(Source: 2009 Population Census). The County has no known cash crops and the vast majority of its economy is exclusively depended rain-fed subsistence farming.
The area (County) is characterized by sporadic rainfall, cyclical droughts and widespread poverty, a situation which has further been exacerbated by poor land use practices, including clearing of indigenous forests to give way to subsistence farming and human settlement. However, owing to the harsh climatic conditions in most parts of the County, farming as a way of life has thus proven to be extremely challenging and completely unsustainable.
The climate of the County is arid and semi arid with very erratic and unreliable rainfall. Most of the areas are generally hot and dry leading to high rate of evaporation. The annual rainfall ranges between 500-1,050mm with 40 % reliability. The long rains come in April/May and short rains in November/December.
The short rains are more reliable while long rains are usually unreliable. The periods falling between June to September and January to March are usually dry. The topography of the landscape influences the amount of rainfall received. The high land areas of Mumoni Hills in Kitui North and Mutitu in the eastern parts of the County receive between 500-760mm of rainfall per year, while the Endau hills receiving between 500-1050mm per year, with the drier eastern and southern areas receiving less than 500mm. In addition, the County experiences high temperatures throughout the year, which range from 16°C to 34°C, with the hot months being between June and September and January and February.
As a result of population pressure, felling of trees for construction and energy (firewood and charcoal), irresponsible sand harvesting and cultivation along river beds, cultivation down slope, overstocking and overgrazing, there has been massive land degradation characterized by extensive soil erosion, low soil fertility; drying up of hitherto permanent water sources (especially rivers), low land productivity (both crops and livestock perennial famine) and the associated increment in human and animal diseases, leading to extreme poverty and the shared hopelessness. All these are characteristics of climate change which is now a reality in the county.