Kirinyaga County

County Headquarters: Kerugoya

Population

Population: 528,054 (2009 Census)

Social

Kikuyu is the dominant tribe

 

Economic

The economic activity of Kiambu county is Agriculture.

Political

The current governor is Anne Waiguru

 

Kirinyaga County Constituencies

The county has four constituencies:

  • Mwea Constituency
  • Gichugu Constituency
  • Ndia Constituency
  • Kirinyaga Central Constituency

KIRINYAGA COUNTY

Kirinyaga County is a county in the former Central Province of Kenya. Its capital is Kutus and its largest town is Kerugoya. The county is bordered to the east and south by Embu County, to the south by a tiny part of Machakos County, to the southwest by Murang’a County and to the northwest by Nyeri County. Sitting at the foothills of Mount Kenya, some 112km from Nairobi, Kirinyaga County covers 1479.09 square kilometres. The county is named after Mount Kenya, which was originally known as Kirinyaga, meaning the crest of whiteness, synonymous with its snow-capped peaks.

Apparently, the British settlers could not pronounce the name ‘Kirinyaga’, resulting to calling it Mt. Kenya.

POPULATION

Kirinyaga’s County population is 610,411 based on the 2019 Kenya Population and Housing Census (KPHC). It is among the counties with the lowest average household size at 3.0

 

HISTORY

Kirinyaga District was created in 1963 out of the western part of Embu District.  Kerugoya town was the district headquarters. The district commissioner was based in this town. In 2007, Kirinyaga District was divided into four new districts:

Kirinyaga Central with its administrative centre at Kerugoya

Kirinyaga East with its administrative center at Kianyaga

Kirinyaga South with its administrative centre at Wan g’uru

Kirinyaga West with its administrative centre at Baricho.

ADMINISTRATION

Since April 2013, the County Government of Kirinyaga administers all of Kirinyaga County. Formerly, The County Council of Kirinyaga administered all of Kirinyaga County, except the area that was administered by the Municipal Council of Kerugoya /Kutus and the Town council of Sagana-Kagio.

 

SUBDIVISIONS

 

Electoral constituencies:

The county has four constituencies:

Mwea Constituency

Gichugu Constituency

Ndia Constituency

Kirinyaga Central Constituency

RELIGION AND CULTURE

Majority of people living in Kirinyaga County are Christians either of Roman Catholic faith or Protestant. Some of the most prominent churches found in the county include Roman Catholic, A.C.K, P.C.E.A and Evangelical churches. There are a few Muslims in major towns of Kerugoya and Wang’uru.

Major Towns

Kerugoya:

Set in a coffee producing zone, Kerugoya is the largest urban center in the county and an important commercial centre for farmers, ideally for banking services and farm input supplies. Kerugoya is located some 125 km north of Nairobi along Embu-Nyeri road being home to about 40,000 people.

 

Mwea (Wang’uru):

Located some 117 km north of Nairobi, Mwea is one of the fastest growing towns in Kirinyaga. Mwea irrigation scheme produces over 50% of all rice in Kenya, making the town an important commercial centre. The town is jam-packed with numerous rice stores and several rice mills, making it abuzz with economic activities all year round.

 

Kutus:

Located approximately 11 km from Kerugoya town, Kutus town has not been growing as fast, perhaps due to its proximity to Kerugoya. The town is however expected to rise tremendously having been proposed as the capital for Kirinyaga County.

 

ECONOMIC ACTIVITIES

Agriculture is Kirinyaga’s main economic activity, with over 70% of residents being small scale farmers. Others are business people, teachers, civil servants working in government institutions and those who work for the various tea, coffee and rice factories. The county’s leading farming industries include coffee, tea, rice, horticulture, dairy farming, maize and beans. Fish farming is being practiced lately with many farmers now creating space for fish ponds.

 

HEALTH FACCILITIES

The urban centers are well served by government hospitals, health centers and dispensaries. There are several private and mission health facilities in different towns. The most notable include Kerugoya District Hospital (Kerugoya town), Kianyaga Sub-District Hospital (Kianyaga town) and Kimbimbi Sub-District Hospital (Mwea). Some of the mission hospitals include Mwea mission near Wanguru town and managed by the Catholic Church, A.C.K Mt. Kenya hospital located along Kerugoya-Karatina road and Hope Medical Clinic along Sagana-Karatina road.

 

EDUCATION

The county’s education sector is well served by over 300 primary schools and over 100 secondary schools.

Popular secondary schools in Kirinyaga County include Kianyaga boys’, Kerugoya boys’, Kerugoya girls’, Kabare girls’ (Kutus), Karoti girls’ and Ngiriambu Girls’ near Kianyaga town.

Institutions of higher education in the county include Kirinyaga University  (formerly Kirinyaga Technical institute).

Other notable tertiary institutions include Ahiti Ndomba Veterinary Training Institute (Kutus), Kaitheri Technical institute (Kerugoya) and Kimweas youth polytechnic (Kianyaga).

VILLAGES AND SETTLEMENTS

Difatha

Kibingoti

Kibirigwi

Thumaita

Mbiri

Kiamutugu

Muthigi-ini

Kairini

Mukangu

Kianjege East and Kianjege West

Gathoge

Mururi

Kianjiru

Kimbimbi

Part of Makutano

SOURCES

  1. http://www.kenya-information-guide.com/kirinyaga-county
  2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kirinyaga_County
  3. https://www.knbs.or.ke