KIAMBU COUNTY REVIEW
Kiambu County is located in the central part of the country. Kiambu town is the administrative centre of the county; most of the government offices are located in this town. Some of the districts that are mapped in Kiambu county include Thika East, Kiambu West, East Kiambaa, Githunguri, Gatundu, Lari, Ruiru, Kikuyu and Thika West Districts.
According to the National Census exercise that was carried out in 2009 the population of Kiambu county is approximated to be 1,673,785. 60.8% of the total population lives in the urban areas while the rest reside in the rural areas. This number is projected to increase by about 2.5% before the next census program. Area covered by the county is approximately 2,543.4 kilometres squared.
There are eight constituencies in Kiambu county namely:
- Gatundu South Constituency
- Gatundu North Constituency
- Juja Constituency
- Githunguri Constituency
- Kiambaa Constituency
- Kabete Constituency
- Limuru Constituency
- Lari Constituency
GEOGRAPGHY AND CLIMATE
This is one of the counties in the country that receives high rainfall that is evenly distributed. The average amount of rainfall received is 989mm per year and this enables residents to plant a wide range of crops. Temperature ranges between 12.8 degrees Celsius during the cold month and 24.6 degrees Celsius during the hot seasons. This temperature is conducive for growth of tea and coffee that is usually grown in large and small scale all over the county.
The high altitude of the county contributes to the low temperatures which in turn favours growth of a wide variety of crops in Kiambu county . Loam soil is the dominant kind of soil in the area. This soil has good water holding capacity as well as all the major nutrients required by the crops for optimal growth. The gentle slopes and ever green ground cover helps to prevent soil erosion.
This one of the major economic activities carried out in Kiambu county. Crops grown are used for both subsistence and commercial purposes. Coffee and tea are the major cash crops that are grown in the area, the yield are locally processed and consumed locally while the surplus is exported to other countries. Some farmers also practise horticulture and floriculture farming which is usually practised in green houses.
Maize and beans are mainly for domestic purposes however the surplus is usually transported by road to other towns such as Nairobi and Thika. Dairy cattle are also kept for the provision of milk and other daily products that are required by the society.
There are numerous activities that can be carried out in this county but some hindrances such as poor infrastructure limit the extent to which these agricultural activities can be carried out.
Agriculture is the backbone of the economy in Kiambu County. Sales from tea and coffee provide the farmers with some source of income that enables them to meet their financial obligations. There are a number of financial institutions that provide the residents with affordable financial services and this in turn helps to boost the economy of the county.
The good road infrastructure such as the improvement of Thika Highway has helped open up Kiambu county to various economic activities such as establishment of businesses and residential houses. The factories established to process coffee and tea provide employment to locals and other persons from neighbouring counties relocate to Kiambu county in search of employment in this coffee farms and factories.
There are a number of tourist attraction sites that attracts both local and international tourists. Revenue generated helps to boost the economy of the county and Kiambu county as a whole. One of the attraction sites is Paradise lost Caves which records very many tourist in a given year. Tourists are able to have an adventurous experience in the caves that extend up to 52 acres into the forest. Other services offered by this attraction site include horse, boat and camel riding.
There are also affordable world class hotels that provide catering and accommodation to the tourists. Some of the popular hotels are Rock city and Windsor hotels.
EDUCATION AND HEALTH
This is the core issue that have to be addressed in order to enhance development in Kiambu county. There are various public and privately owned health facilities that provide health services to the residents at an affordable price. Kiambu Hospital is a good example a fully equipped health facility in the county.
Some of the education institutions in the county include Kiambu high school, Githunguri Girls Secondary School and many more. The government is also setting up more schools in the county in a bid to alienate illiteracy in Kiambu county