The village (location) of Mutomo is situated in a district with the same name, population 180,000. Location Mutomo is the administrative centre and has 17,000 inhabitants. It takes 5-6 hours to drive the 230 km from Nairobi, via Machakos and Kitui, and especially the road from Kitui is poor, see map. There are other infrastructural problems which hamper the rate of development, but marked improvement has been made in recent years. Poverty is prevalent; this area is among the poorest in Kenya. The climate is arid and the lack of fresh water is a major problem. The combination of poverty, lack of clean water and food and serious infectious diseases cause severe health problems. Difficulties for the parents to pay, long distances between home to school and the use of children for chores such as the fetching of water and working on the family farm, explain why many children never get to attend school.
For more facts about Mutomo, see the headlines in the left margin.