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The North Eastern Province is one of the seven administrative provinces in Kenya outside of Nairobi. The provincial capital is the town of Garissa, near the Coast Province. The overall population is 2,385,572 (in 2010) and its land area is 126,902 km². Formerly known as the Northern Frontier District (NFD), the North Eastern Province covers most of northeastern Kenya. The region is and has historically been primarily inhabited by ethnic Somalis and the Sakuye Oromos, accounting for the bulk of Kenya's Cushite ethnic minority.
The region is home to a rare type of antelope called the Hirola, which is classified as an endangered species. The NFD's pastoralists also possess livestock in excess of 2-3 millions.
The climate of the North Eastern Province is semi-arid and hot. Rain falls infrequently, usually only around April or October, and quite sporadically from year to year. Combined with hot temperatures and extreme evaporation, this makes the region best suited to nomadic pastoralism based on the Arabian camel, which is well adapted to surviving in hot, dry habitats.
There are no rivers of any significance in the region, though there are a few tributaries of the Jubba River near the Somali border, which very rarely have any water in them. Consequently, there is little or no possibility of irrigation-based development, and pastoralists rely exclusively on wells to water their stock and for domestic use.
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