Butere is a town in the Western Province
Western Province (Kenya)
The Western Province of Kenya, bordering Uganda, is one of Kenya's seven administrative provinces outside Nairobi. It is west of the Eastern Rift Valley and is inhabited mainly by the Luhya people. Quakerism is widely practised here. Kenya's second highest mountain, Mount Elgon is located in...

 of Kenya
Kenya , officially known as the Republic of Kenya, is a country in East Africa that lies on the equator, with the Indian Ocean to its south-east...

. It has an urban population of 8636 (1999 census) http://www.ilri.cgiar.org/html/Urban%20Poverty%20all%20Kenya%20Province%20through%20Location%20Final.xls
The town is the capital of Butere District formerly Butere/Mumias District
Butere/Mumias District
Butere/Mumias District is an administrative district in the Western Province of Kenya. Its capital town is Butere. The district has a population of 476,928 and an area of 939 km² .The district has four constituencies:*Butere Constituency...


Transportation Links

Butere is linked by road to Mumias (in north) and Kisumu
Kisumu is a port city in western Kenya at , with a population of 355,024 . It is the third largest city in Kenya, the principal city of western Kenya, the immediate former capital of Nyanza Province and the headquarters of Kisumu County. It has a municipal charter but no city charter...

 (SE). A branch railway line from Kisumu ends at Butere. Passenger service on the branch line was resumed in January 2007 after lengthy suspension http://eastandard.net/hm_news/news.php?articleid=1143963523.

The name Butere comes from one of the main clans in the division the aBatere subclan who reside in areas such as Muyundi, Masaba and around the township.


Butere's: Economic Mainstay is subsistence maize production though the division is an important supplier of raw sugar cane to Mumias sugar company. Residents of this division are also small scale cattle and bee keepers as well as fish keepers.

The people of Butere have traditionally been small scale farmers planting soghum, millet and vegetables which they traded with their neighbours from south Nyanza
Nyanza may refer to:*Nyanza, Rwanda**Nyanza District, the district surrounding Nyanza, Rwanda*Nyanza Province, Kenya*Nyanza Lac, Burundi*Nyanza, the Bantu word for lake, in particular:**Lake Albert **Lake Edward...

 with fish from Lake Victoria.

The introduction of maize saw a change of stable food from ugali
Ugali is an East African dish of maize flour cooked with water to a porridge- or dough-like consistency. It is the most common staple starch of much of Eastern and Southern Africa...

 made from soghum to maize meal.


The district is inhabited predominantly by the Marama (Abamukhula) Sub-tribe of the larger Luhya tribe with a significant element of Luo
Luo (Kenya and Tanzania)
The Luo are an ethnic group in Kenya, eastern Uganda, and northern Tanzania. They are part of a larger group of ethnolinguistically related Luo peoples who inhabit an area including southern Sudan, northern and eastern Uganda, western Kenya, and northern Tanzania.The Luo are the third largest...

 immigrants from the neighbouring Siaya District
Siaya District
Siaya District is one of the twelve districts that make up Nyanza Province in the southwest part of Kenya. It is bordered by Busia District to the North, Vihiga and Butere/Mumias Districts to the North-East, Bondo District to the South, and Kisumu District to the South-East. The total area of the...

. Other subtribes in butere include Abatere, Abashirotsa Abashisa, Aberecheya and Abachenya. The Marama's most popular dance is the lipala dance and eshiremba (a funeral ceremony dance performed by abashibanga clan) which seems to be vanishing with modernity. The marama have been very close to the Wanga and the wanga king Nabongo Mumia was a son to a marama woman

Prominent Personalities

Former Kenyan vice president Moody Awori
Moody Awori
Arthur Moody Awori , known as "Uncle Moody", was the 9th Vice President of Kenya from 25 September 2003 to 9 January 2008.-Politics:Awori was born in Butere. He went to Mangu High School in 1935, and later Kakamega High School...

 was born in Butere. Other notable figures who hail from Butere include politician Martin Shikuku, Prof. George Eshiwani, Prof. Oniang'o, Communications expert and video producer Abwao Peter, musician Sukuma bin Ongaro, Prof Ruth Oniango, former nominated MP, Arch. Mohammed Munyanya former chairman Architectural Association of Kenya and Mr linani http://www.uonbi.ac.ke/departments/staff_profile.php?id=195690&dept_code=KG&fac_code=145 Omucheni who is a senior technologist at the university of Nairobi.

Also from Butere are Mutakha Kangu, a Lawyer and lecturer, Moi University, Achero Mzalendo Mufuayia, a young lawyer , David Bwakali
David Bwakali
David Bwakali is a youth leader, environmentalist, journalist and entrepreneur from Kenya.-Sustainability Activism:...

, a writer and environmentalist, Patrick Sakwa,an aviation safety expert,currently working with Kenya Airways having worked for Kenya Civil Aviation Authority before and Absalom Omusula, currently a senior manager at Mumias sugar company.


The politics of Butere have been dominated by clan rivalries. Martin Shikuku the area MP since independence represented the constituency with short breaks until he was ousted by the late Jesse Eshikhati Opembe in 1988 who served briefly until his passing. Then former University of Nairobi Lecturer, Dr. Amukowa Anangwe in the 1997 general elections. Anangwe was however in 2002 ousted by flamboyant Wycliffe Oparanya
Wycliffe Oparanya
Wycliffe Ambetsa Oparanya is a Kenyan politician. He belongs to the Orange Democratic Movement and was elected to represent the Butere Constituency in the National Assembly of Kenya since the Kenyan parliamentary election, 2007....

 whose popularity was boosted by his youth soccer programme in the division.

The 2007 elections were won by Wyclif Oparanya as the constituency seemed to abandon Musikari Kombo's Ford Kenya in favour of the Orange Democratic Movement
Orange Democratic Movement
Orange Democratic Movement refers to a political party in Kenya, which is the successor of a former grassroots people's movement which was formed in the 2005 Kenyan constitutional referendum. The erstwhile single party which separated in August 2007 into two...

(ODM) now led by Prime Minister and Langata MP Raila Odinga. This was evidenced by an apparent rush by most politicians to troop to the party among them former Minister Dr. Amukowa Anangwe, and Arch. Mohammed Munyanya.
The 2012 elections will see clan rivalries emerge again. The anti-Marama forces are organising against the incumbent Oparanya.


The division is predominantly Anglican though other denominations claim a significant percentage of followers. The outgoing Bishop of Butere ACK diocese, Horace Etemesi successfully used the ACK influence to plant Dr. Anangwe as area MP in 1997 over Martin Shikuku a catholic but his influence was insignificant in the wake of the 2002 NARC wave.

Academic Institutions

The district has two Provincial secondary schools:- Butere Girls' High School, and Butere Boys' High School. The district also has numerous day secondary schools with Lunza Secondary School being the largest in terms of student population and perennial good performance. Others are Bukolwe,Shiatsala andShikunga.

The introduction of Constituency Development Fund saw Buchenya Girls' School being chosen as a centre of academic excellence due to its central location.

There are several primary schools in the district with Butere Primary School and Buchenya Primary being more famous.
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