Rarieda constituency lies to the south of Siaya county along the shores of Lake Victoria in what was known as the Kavirondo Gulf. The constituency was created in 1988, in a split from the greater Bondo constituency and has been represented by the Kenyan freedom fighter and one of the Kapenguria 6, Ramogi Achieng Oneko.
Rarieda is populous with an estimated population of 134,558 comprising of about 31,000 households. These are settled in the 403 square kilometers that make up the constituency.
The population is mainly drawn from the Luo community, with a few immigrants pursuing economic activities. Thus, the common tongue is Dholuo with the cultural practices being mainly of the Luo community.
Fishing and peasant farming make up the major economic activities of the area. Luanda Kotieno is a major landing bay for fish and ferries bringing traders across the lake. In addition to which, the Asembo is famed for its unique mango fruits.
Historically, the area produced cotton from the rich black cotton soils. When the textile industry fell, so did cotton farming. Further, early 2018, a prehistoric gold mine was recommissioned, with locals and residents of other counties coming to mine in Rarieda.
Rarieda boasts of significant infrastructure installations. Luanda Kotieno is a renowned landing bay for ferries crossing the lake to Mbita in the South. The road network is predominantly tarmacked with good connections to the highway from Kisumu.
Farmers collection centers are strewn across the constituency and several schools have been constructed and improved to serve the community.When Rarieda became a district, the headquarters in Aram received significant uplift.
Rarieda’s population is the most educated in Siaya with 18% having received secondary education and above. Thus, there is a large pool of local professionals working as teachers, clerks, entrepreneurs, etc.
On the downside however, the levels of poverty are still high. Rarieda has the lowest level of electricity used for lighting in Siaya county. A majority of the population still uses indigenous methods of cooking and lighting.
It also has the lowest sanitation levels in the county with very few homesteads having pit latrines and toilets. With a gini coefficient of 0.358, there are pronounced inequalities with a few palatial homes overshadowing a large number of poor homes.