Kisii County Review
Kisii County is located in the South- East SIDE OF Lake Victoria. It covers an area of 1,317.4 kilometres squared; it borders narok county to the South, kisumu county to the North and Homa bay County to North West.
The total population of the county according to the census exercise that was carried out in 2009 is approximately 1,263,559. About 21.5% of the population reside in the urban areas of the county while the rest live in the rural areas.
Kisii county is made up of six constituencies namely:
- South Migirango
- Nyaribari Masaba
- Nyaribari Chache
- Kitutu Chache
Some of the districts that are mapped in Kisii county include Kisii South, Gucha, Gucha South, Masaba and Kisii Central.
GEOGRAPGHY AND CLIMATE
Kisii county receives high rainfall that is well distributed throughout the year. The long rains are received between February and June while the Short rains are between September and November. However this pattern is likely to change as a result of climate change and global warming. The average rainfall received is 1500mm per annum.
Due to the high altitude of the region, it is usually cooler than most of the other counties in the country. During the cold months temperatures drop up to 16 degrees Celsius and 27 degrees Celsius during the hot months of the year.
Soils are rich in almost all the plant nutrients and this in turn enables the farmers to grow a wide range of crops on the land. Some parts of the county are very steep and very susceptible to soil erosion and landslides during the rainy season.
There are many seasonal and perennial rivers that supply water for domestic, industrial and agricultural use. Gucha River is one of the largest rivers in the county that flows to Lake Victoria.
The geography of the area is dominated with hills, valleys and ridges which make this region one of the most beautiful areas in the country.
This is one of the major economic activities in Kisii county that is favoured by the optimal temperatures and high rainfall received in the county. The area has sandstones and basalt that mix with the soils hence preventing degradation of the environment through soil erosion.
Tea and coffee are some of the major cash crops grown in here; this form of farming is carried out both on small scale and large scale. Other crops that are grown in the area include bananas, vegetables, sugarcane, pineapples and potatoes. The wide range of crops grown enables the county to be one of the areas that hardly experience drought.
In the recent past farmers have started fish farming which is practised on fish ponds. This helps to supplement the other food sources. Farmers also practise dairy farming that provides dairy products to both rural and urban areas.
One of the major sectors that contribute to the economy of the county is agriculture. Tea and coffee farming provide farmers with a source of income to meet their financial needs. Most of the people are either employed in the various tea and coffee factories or are self employed in their own farms.
There are many markets in the Kisii County where farmers are able to sell the surplus food products. Products marketed include tomatoes, bananas, pineapples, sugarcane and many more. Some of the produce is transported to other markets in the nearby towns such as Narok and Nairobi.
Soapstone quarrying is another economic activity that is carried out in Tabaka. This also provides the residents with a reliable source of income.
Kisii county has many financial institutions which include: Equity, Barclays, National Bank, K-Rep BANK, Kenya Commercial Bank and many more micro-financial institutions. Some of the commercial businesses that are established in the county include Supermarkets, wholesale and retail shops.
EDUCATION AND HEALTH OF THE COUNTY
These are the key factors that promote economic growth in any given area. In Kisii County there are four district hospitals, 80 dispensaries and more than 20 health centres that provide affordable and accessible health services the residents.
There are also many primary and secondary schools in Kisii county that are known nationwide for their good performance. There are a total of 8 secondary schools and six primary schools. High learning institutions located in this region includes:
- University of Nairobi Campus
- Egerton University
- Masinde Muliro University