KAJIADO COUNTY REVIEW
Kajiado County is located along the Rift Valley and covers a total area of 2558.78 kilometres squared. It borders Kiambu, Narok, Nairobi and Machakos Counties. Some of the districts mapped in the county include Kajiado Central, Loitoktok and North Kajiado.
The total population of the county according to the national census exercise that was carried out in 2009 is 687,312. 41.4% of the total population reside in the rural areas while the rest of the population is projected to be living in the rural areas. The total urban population is 284,862 but this number is projected to increase due to increased urbanisation in the county.
Kajiado County has three constituencies namely:
• Kajiado Central Constituency
• Kajiado North Constituency
• Kajiado South Constituency
GEOGRAPGHY AND CLIMATE
Kajiado County has a very good landscape and this explains the many recreation activities carried out in the region. Some of the geographical features include volcanic hills, valleys, permanent and seasonal rivers. The region is basically semi arid and receives low amounts of rainfall annually. This is approximated to be between 500 and 1250 millimetres. At times the region receives rainfall amounts as low as 250 millimetres. The rainfall is very unpredictable hence most of the residents do not practise agriculture.
The soils are not favourable for growth of most of the crops due to the poor texture which in turn translates to low water holding capacity and high water infiltration rates. The soils are very susceptible to erosion processes such as wind erosion due to their light weight nature.
Most parts of Kajiado County are flat hence flooding is frequently experienced during the rainy season. The long rains are received in March and May and the short rains are received in October and December. However this pattern is projected to change as a result of climate change and global warming that result from degradation of the environment due to man activities.
Kajiado County climate and weather patterns do not favour most of the agricultural activities such as tea and coffee growing due to the low rainfall amounts and high temperatures received in the county. Livestock keeping is the main agricultural activity carried out in the region; residents keep large herds of cattle, sheep and goats for both domestic and commercial purposes.
The residents are pastoralists who move from one place to another in search of water and pastures for their animals.
Some of the residents have in the recent past started horticultural farming that produce fruits and flowers for local and international markets.
Livestock farming is the main economic activity carried out in the Kajiado County. Kenya Meat Commission and other meat processing factories usually purchase animals from the farmers and this in turn enables them to meet the various financial needs such as educating their families and health services.
There are a number of ranches practise large scale livestock keeping. These ranches ensure that demand for meat, milk and other animal products in the town are meet effectively. These ranches provide employment to many residents of the area.
There are many businesses that have being established in the urban areas such as Kajiado Town. This includes hotels and lodges that provide affordable and quality accommodation and catering services to the residents and visitors. Real estate investors have also constructed residential houses that provide accommodation to person living in the urban areas in Kajiado County. Most of these businesses are located in the urban areas and along the major road networks in the county.
There are several commercial banks and other financial institutions that provide the residents with quality financial services that enable them to improve their financial status as well as promote the economy of the county.
HEALTH AND EDUCATION
The government of Kenya and other world organisation need to construct more health and education facilities in the county so as to meet the ever increasing population in the county. There are very few education centres in the county while those already constructed are not fully equipped to provide quality education to the young generation in the county.
Health facilities in the county also need to be improved so as to meet all the health needs of the residents in Kajiado County. This will help in promoting health and economy of the county.