Embu County Review
Embu County located in the former Eastern Province and its capital town is Embu. The county is composed of 516,212 people a proportion of 82,921 people living in the urban areas in Embu. The county is located 120 kilometres from Nairobi and is very close to Mt Kenya.
Embu County is composed of four constituencies namely;
- Manyatta Constituency
- Runyenjes Constituency
- Gachoka Constituency
- Siakago Constituency
The population in these constituencies varies depending on the various economic factors carried out in Embu County.
GEOGRAPGHY AND CLIMATE
Embu County has an altitude of 1350 metres above the sea level close to the foot hill of Mt. Kenya. The slopes of the county slopes from west to east, the highest point in the county is at Ruvingaci River. The altitude is very favourable for growth of maize, cassava, beans, sorghum and yams which are normally used for domestic purposes. The climate also favours growth of cash crops such as coffee, tea and macadamia.
The annual average temperatures in the region are 28.8 degrees Celsius in the hottest month and 9.6 degrees Celsius in the coldest month. The annual rainfall received is estimated to be 1206mm and this enables the residents to grow a wide variety of crops. The area has two rainy seasons; the long rains are experienced between March and May while the short rains are received between October and December. This pattern is projected to change in future due to climate change. The coldest month in Embu County is July while the hottest periods are experienced between January and April.
The soils in the area have high clay and about 2.0% carbon content. The texture of the soils is moderately and has the capacity to hold water and provide all the nutrients required for growth of crops. The county is not susceptible to soil erosion due to the gentle slopes in the area.
AGRICULTURE IN EMBU COUNTY
This is one of the major economic activities in Embu County; cash crops grown in the area are coffee and tea due the high rainfall and temperatures experienced in the region. Some farmers also plant Macadamia. In some parts of the county such as Mbeere the soils are not fertile and experience low rainfall, farmers in these region rear animals for domestic and commercial purposes. Other farmers plant cassava, millet, sorghum, millet crops which are drought resistant. These crops enhance food security in the region during the drought periods.
ECONOMY OF EMBU COUNTY
The main backbone of the economy in Embu County is agriculture. The cash crops grown in the region provides farmers with a source of income. The surplus maize grown in the region is sold in the neighbouring towns such as Murang’a and Nyeri. Cash crops that are produced are processed for local consumption and the excess is exported to foreign countries.
CULTURAL AND SOCIAL ACTIVITIES
The diversity of cultural and social practises in Embu County is influenced by the different tribes that occupy the area. The main tribe in the region is Embu and Mbeere tribes. Other tribes that have over the years relocated to the county include Kikuyu, Akamba and Ameru.
Some of the cultural activities that are carried by the communities in the region include circumcision which marks a rite of passage and payment of dowry. Examples of one believe of the people is that when an Embu man marries he is obliged to build his own home away from his parent’s area.
TOURISM IN EMBU COUNTY
Embu County has numerous attraction sites that attract both local and international tourist who visit these places these places in different times of the year. Mwea National park is one of the places that tourists can visit in the county. This facility has a wide range of birds and animals such as hyenas, Gazelle, Warthogs, Buffaloes, Leopards and many more. Most of the venomous snakes are found in this national park.
Seven Forks Falls one of the best outdoor destinations that is very suitable for camping. The geographic wonder in this scenic view is very unique and hard to find in any other place in the country. Accommodation is provided by the many hotels and lodges in Embu County.