The town is along the road between 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...

 and Kakamega
Kakamega is a town in western Kenya lying about 30 km north of the Equator. It is the headquarters of . The town has a population of 73,607 ....

, and only five kilometres north of the equator
An equator is the intersection of a sphere's surface with the plane perpendicular to the sphere's axis of rotation and containing the sphere's center of mass....

. Vihiga bears the same name as its district, Vihiga District
Vihiga District
Vihiga District is an administrative district in the Western Province of Kenya. Its capital town is Mbale, which is located in Vihiga Division. The district has a population of 498,883 and an area of 563 km²...

, which is one of the eight districts in Kenya's Western Province. Vihiga municipality has an urban population of 19,000 and metropolitan population of 98,189 (1999 census).

Vihiga municipality has six wards; two of them (Central Maragoli and Wamuluma) belong to Vihiga Constituency while the remaining four wards (Chavakali, Izawa, Lyaduywa and North Maragoli) are part of the Sabatia Constituency. In the 2002 general elections, all six civic seats were won by the National Rainbow Coalition
National Rainbow Coalition
The National Rainbow Coalition was a coalition of Kenyan political parties in power from 2002 and 2005 when it fell apart in a controversy between its wings about a constitutional referendum.-Formation:...



The Maragoli, or Logoli , are the second largest tribe of the 6 million-strong Luhya nation in Kenya, after the Bukusu. The dialect they speak is called Llogoli, Urulogoli, or Maragoli....

 are the dominant ethnic group in the area and the town is also known as Maragoli. Tiriki, Idakho and Banyore are other ethnic groups in this locale. As a district, Vihiga has its administrative headquarters in Mbale township, located within the Vihiga municipality. Vihiga is also a name of one of its divisions. Other divisions include Sabatia, Hamisi, Lwanda and Emuhaya. The people living in Vihiga primarily identify themselves as "Maragoli" and speak a language called Maragoli. This language is quite distinct from other Luhya ethnic groups and was the first Luhya language that was used to translate the Bible. The majority of the Maragoli people were primarily converted into the Quaker denomination of Christians, which is practiced to this day.
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