Friday, July 17, 2009
Migingo - 3800 m2
The island has a population of about 500 (estimates vary), mostly fishermen and fish traders
Migingo In numbers
2002 The year that the first house was built on the tiny island outcrop.
500 People live on the island. Eighty per cent of the population are Kenyan and 20 per cent are Ugandan.
3 Hours is how long it takes to reach Migingo by motor boat from Kenya.
6 Hours is how long it takes to reach Migingo from Uganda.
2,000 Kenyan shillings is the sum, equivalent to £17, that visitors are charged each week to stay in a boarding house on Migingo – more than eight times the going rate in the nearby city of Kisumu.
4 Pubs are on the island, together with one pharmacy, one hair salon and several brothels. 10 Cabinet ministers from two countries attended an emergency summit on Migin
Migingo Island rises out of the waters of Lake Victoria like an armour-plated turtle. An uneven, rocky dome of less than an acre, it is clad above the water line in corrugated iron. The rusty shacks crowded on to its back give shelter to a scarcely credible 500 people – a slice of life transplanted from the worst city slum into the middle of the world's largest tropical lake. It is also home to Africa's smallest war, a conflict fought in advances of three soldiers, a dozen policemen or eight marines. Any more than that and they would not fit. The fate of this rocky islet has caused outrage in east Africa, triggered a ministerial crisis and brought Kenya and Uganda to the brink of a shooting war.