At least 40 constituencies are at risk of being scrapped when Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) reviews boundaries.
The said constituencies have failed to meet the population quota, which is arrived at after dividing the total national population with the 290 constituencies.
The recently released 2019 census report puts Kenya’s population at 47.6 million people, meaning the population quota stands at 164,137.
Article 89 of the 2010 constitution on the delimitation of electoral units notes that “…boundaries of each constituency shall be such that the number of inhabitants in the constituency is, as nearly as possible, equal to the population quota.”
Based on the 2019 census data released on Monday, 40 constituencies recorded numbers lower than the population quota, meaning they could be merged with others during delimitation.
The constituencies include Laikipia North (36,184), Budalang'i (85,977), Mt Elgon (78,873), Lamu East (22,258), Kuria East (96,872), Mwatate (81,659) and Kathiani (111,890), according to The Star.
Others are Tetu (80,453), Tiaty (73,424), Lafey (83,457), Keiyo North (99,173), Eldas (88,509), Marakwet East (97,041), Mwingi East (85,139) and Samburu North (67,391).
Kangundo (97,917), Mukurweini (87,137), Samburu East (77,994), Loima (107,795), Mathioya (92,814), Pokot South (80,661), Kangema (80,447), and Turkana North (65,218) are also in danger of being scrapped.
However, the constitution allows a constituency to be less or more than the quota on special occasions based on geographical features and urban centers; community of interest, historical, economic and cultural ties; and means of communication.
Through this provision, constituencies were clustered into four; cities whose population is allowed at 40 percent greater than the population quota, rural areas at 30 percent more, those permitted at 30 percent less than the population quota and sparsely populated areas allowed at 40 percent less than population quota.
With the country approaching the boundaries review process, a tussle between IEBC, politicians, and residents opposed to their constituencies being merged with others is likely to be witnessed.