NYERI COUNTY REVIEW
Nyeri County is located in the central parts of Kenya. Some of the districts that have being mapped in this region include Nyeri South and Nyeri North according to the National Boundaries Commission. Total area covered by the county is approximately 3,337.1 kilometres squared.
According to the national census exercise that was initiated by the government in 2009, the total population of Nyeri County is 693,558. It is also estimated that 24.5% of the total population reside in the urban areas in the county while the rest of the population resides in the rural areas in Nyeri County.
In total there are six constituencies that are mapped under Nyeri County namely:
- Tetu Constituency
- Kieni Constituency
- Othaya Constituency
- Nyeri Town Constituency
- Mukurwe-ini Constituency
GEOGRAPGHY AND CLIMATE
Mt Kenya is one of the geographic features that determine the climate and weather patterns in different parts of Nyeri County. Some of the aspects that are affected by this geographic feature include rainfall, temperature and humidity.
Temperature ranges between 12 degrees Celsius during the cold months and 27 degrees Celsius in the hottest months. However as climate change and global warming advances this range is expected to change. Annual rainfall received in Nyeri county ranges between 550mm in the lowland and 1500mm in the highlands. Most parts of the County are above 1500 meters above the sea level and this explains the cool temperatures in the area.
The soils are very rich in plant nutrients and contain high organic matter content. This helps residents to plant a wide range of crops on the land. Due to the good soil cover in the county soil erosion and landslides are not a frequent occurrence. However during the heavy rainy seasons some parts that are much degraded experience adverse soil erosion and landslides.
Due to the favorable temperature and high rainfall received in Nyeri County, most of the farmers practice agriculture as the main economic activity. Some of the cash crops grown include tea and coffee which are cultivated in small scale and large scale levels. Dairy farming is also practiced widely in the county and this helps to meet the high demand of dairy products in the country. There are many dairy processing plants in the county that collect and process the milk from the farmers. The dairy cattle are high breed and this helps the farmers to maximize their yields and profits from the activity.
Other activities carried out include beans, maize, vegetables, potatoes and peas. The main purpose of growing these crops is consumption at home but some of the farmers sell the surplus in the various agricultural markets in the county.
Agriculture is the main economic activity carried out in Nyeri County. Farmers cultivate various crops that are processed and sold in local and international markets. Tea and coffee are the main cash crops grown in the county. There are number of factories that process this products and this in turn offers employment to some of the residents. The cash derived from sale of the products enables the farmers to meet their various financial needs.
Other businesses have also emerged especially along the urban areas of Nyeri County. This includes petrol stations, hotels, retail and wholesale shops as well as supermarkets. All this developments helps to boost the economy of the county and the country as a whole.
Entrepreneurs have built various apartments and lodges that provide affordable and quality accommodation and catering services to local and international tourists who visit the county’s tourist attraction sites. Examples of these sites include Mt Kenya, Aberdare National park and Mt Kenya National park that are very rich in almost all the wildlife species.
HEALTH AND EDUCATION
The government and other non-governmental organizations have built over 300 major hospitals and over 200 other health facilities such as dispensaries, clinic and VCT centers. This helps in promoting the health status of Nyeri County through increased access to the health facilities. Good infrastructure is one of the contributing factors to the good health and easy accessibility of these facilities.
There are many primary and secondary schools that provide basic education to the young generation of Nyeri County. Other learning institutions include two medical training colleges and three Satellite campuses.