Physical Setting by deTPU4X


									                      MAKUENI COUNTY
                      The Giant has Awaken

 Introduction:

The New Kenya Constitution promulgated on 27 August 2010 established
47 Counties under the devolved system of government in Chapter Eleven.
The objectives and the principles of the devolved government “gives
powers of self-governance to the people and enhance the participation of the
people in the exercise of the powers of the State and in making decisions
affecting them; and promotes social and economic development and
provision of proximate, easily accessible services throughout Kenya; among
others”. It is this provision in the New Constitution that has rightly created a
wave of action throughout the nation with each county bringing together its
people across the board to consider systematically how to realize the
objectives of the devolved government system. This initiative is non-
political and seeks to address the issues pertaining to development and

Makueni County has established the Makueni County Development Forum
which brings together those Makueni who are prepared to devote time and
resources to contribute to the establishment of progressive and developed
county. Makueni has been one of the least developed parts of Kenya in spite
of its extensive natural resources and development potential. Makueni is a
giant that is now awake and poised for a great place in the development of

Makueni County

Location: Makueni County is located in Lower Eastern part of the country and lies
on Latitude 1º 35´ south and between Longitude 37º10´ east and 38º 30´. It borders five
Machakos County in the North, Kitui County in the East, Kajiado in the West and Taita
Taveta in the South. The County covers an area of 7,965.8km², and is approximately 250
kms from north to south and 100 kms wide in the north and to 20 kms wide in the south.
The County Council area covers seven Districts: Makueni, Kibwezi, Nzaui, Mukaa,
Kathonzweni, Mbooni West and Mbooni East, 69 electoral Wards and five
Constituencies: Mbooni, Kaiti, Kilome, Makueni and Kibwezi.



Climate and Rainfall The mean temperatures in the county range from 20.2 degrees
Centigrade to 24.6 degrees centigrade but temperatures as high as 32 degrees centigrade
have been recorded during the prolonged drought periods which have become more

The rainfall pattern is bi-monsoonal with the long (but unreliable) rains coming in March
to May and the more reliable short rains in October to December. The temperature ranges
are between 18°- 24° in the cold seasons and 24°-33°in the hot days.

The county is characterized by extreme rainfall variability. Typically good seasons are
interspersed with extremely dry seasons and variations in the onset of rainy seasons add
to the difficulty of ensuring adequate food production. The county has two rainy seasons
with two peaks in March/April (long rains) and November/December (short rains).

From June to October is a long dry period, while January to March is a short one. The
hilly parts of the county receive 800 to 1200 mm of rainfall per year. The rest of the
county receives less rainfall at about 500 mm per annum. The high temperature
experienced in the low-lying areas cause high evaporation.

The lower division of Kibwezi, Kambu and Kiboko receive little rainfall but have
enormous potential for ranching. The northern part of the county is hilly with medium
rainfall and has potential for food crop production, Dairy, Horticulture and Coffee
production. This part of the county (mainly Kilungu, Kaiti, Kilome and Mbooni
divisions) has few natural but more planted trees.

Relief and Drainage:

The major land formation in Makueni county includes the volcanic Chyulu Hills, which
lie along the southwest border of the county in Kibwezi sub-county. The Mbooni and
Kilungu Hills rise to a height of 1,900 metres above sea level.
The land rises slightly below 600 metres above sea level in Tsavo at the southern end of
the county. The southern part of the county is low lying grassland while the northern part
– Kilungu, Kaiti, Kilome and Mbooni - of the county is hilly.

The altitude of the county ranges from 600m above sea level (a.s.l) in the south to 1900m
in the west and north. The topography of the county greatly influences the precipitation
with the hill masses receiving higher amounts of rainfall in the range of 1200mm, the
medium zone receiving up to 750mm and the very low lying zone averaging 600mm of
rainfall per year respectively.

The overall drainage pattern in the county is from west to east. There are a few
permanent rivers / streams in the county. River Athi is the only major perennial river
that drains the entire county. Mbooni and Kilungu Hills have a few perennial streams
whose flow is extremely intermittent at low altitudes. Kibwezi, Kambu, Kiboko Rivers
drain the lower areas of the new county.

2. Socio – Economic setting

Population: Makueni county has a population of 884,527 people (2009 census). This
population is sparsely distributed in the vast area of the county except Mbooni and
Kilungu areas which have fairly high population densities of over 450 persons per square
kilometer. The high concentration is in the hilly areas which have natural resources

potential. Most of the people are in settlements or villages. An increasing number of the
population is settling in the upcoming urban centres and towns.

Demographic indicators

Population (2009 census)                                                        884,527
Males                                                                            47.7%
Females                                                                          52.3%
Under 15 years                                                                     49%
Youth (15-25) years                                                                25%
Dependency ration                                                               100:109
Population Growth Rate                                                            2.8%

Extrapolated from Makueni District Statistics of 2001

The tabulation above shows that the population is generally youthful with the number
below 15 almost amounting to about half of the population.

The County is home of the Akamba people who migrated into the district in the 14th
Century moving from Tanzania through Taveta before migrating northwards to the
Nzaui Hills in the present day Makueni county. A dispersal of the community occurred in
the 17th century, with some moving to Mbooni and others to Kitui, Mwingi and the
fringes of Central province. The Mbooni group later moved to present day Machakos and

The Kamba are the fourth largest ethnic community in Kenya who have made significant
contributions to the historical development of modern Kenya: the country draws its name
from the Kamba compound word Kiinyaa; the Kamba were an integral part of the Mau
Mau struggle for freedom contributing human and other resources; the first person to
raise the Kenyan flag on Mount Kenya comes from the community; the Akamba are
known for their expertise in hunting and marksmanship; they are acknowledged among
the greatest traditional healers in the land; and they have distinguished themselves in
leadership and enterpreneurship.


Economically Makueni County is among the poor regions of Kenya. There are no
economic mineral resources and the land is within the arid and semi-arid areas of Kenya.
Agriculture is however the mainstay of the economy of the County. Currently Agriculture
contributes 75% of the income in the County.

Socio-economic indicators

Total number of households                                                       150,000
Average Household size                                                                 6
Absolute poverty                                                                    73%

Income from Agriculture                                                             65%
Income from Rural employment                                                         5%
Remittances from Urban Kenya and                                                    30%
Unemployment                                                                        30%


Agriculture is currently the economic backbone in Makueni County. A large percentage
of the population undertakes subsistence farming with a touch of commercial farming
here and there.

Commercial activities in the lower parts of the county include cotton farming, fruit and
horticulture. Farmers of the hilly areas of Mbooni and Kilungu grow coffee, sugarcane,
and arrow roots for the market.

In terms of subsistence farming, the main crops are maize, beans, peas, millet, sorgum,
sweet potatoes and cassava among others.

Dairy farming is also undertaken both for subsistence and commercial purposes. The
main livestock in the area are cows, goats, sheep and donkeys. Poultry is also undertaken
with main players here being chicken, ducks, and turkey.

Agricultural Potential:

However potential in this sector is not fully exploited. The greatest challenge is
availability of water and slow pace of embracing modern methods of crop production.
Related to issues of technology is the adoption of value adding mechanisms such as
processing of dairy products, food processing and marketing.


Makueni County follows the national public education system of 8:4:4. The bulk of the
first 8:4 years are supported by the public and private primary and secondary schools in

the county. For the final 4 years, the population has to look elsewhere since the county
does not have tertiary education institutions.

The number of Primary Schools stands at 850 scattered all over the vast county and
resulting to long distances between schools. The teachers’ pupil ratio is quite low at
1:33. The Primary school going population aged 6-13 years is around 260,000 and
comprises of 140,000 males and 120,000 females.


Makueni County has three main district hospitals namely:

        Makindu District Hospital
        Makueni District Hospital
        Mbooni District Hospital

In addition the county has numerous other health facilities like sub-district hospitals,
health centres, medical clinics and dispensaries.


Majority of the people live in the rural areas in small settlements and upcoming towns.
This population is housed in permanent and semi-permanent homes made of locally
available building and construction materials. Sanitation facilities are usually detached
from main houses while pit latrines are the common and affordable method.

However, there is a growing middle-class population which is housed in brick-walled,
iron-sheet roofed houses a small percentage of rich residents with high quality housing of
stone-walled, tile-roofed houses.. Their mode of sanitation can be pit latrines or in-house
toilets depending on availability of water and r income.

Urban Centres

Most of the urban centres in the county have grown from small village outlets and or
transport nodes, Because of their size, they appear to be well planned But lack services.

There are over 40 urban centres varying from a couple of shops to the now fast growing
Wote. There are other bigger centres – Kibwezi, Makindu, Nunguni, Tawa, Mukuyuni.
Along the Mombasa – Nairobi highway there are important centres including Salama,
Sultan Hamud, Emali and Mtito a Ndei.

Wote is the Capital of the County. With a population of around 30,000, it is the largest of
the towns and it is also the fastest growing town in the county. As the headquarters. There
are already existing, the Provincial Administration, several government offices, a District
Hospital, Banks and a growing business district.

Roads Networks and Transport

Makueni county's main mode of transport is roads.

The road network in the county is fairly poor given the fact that most of them are
rendered impassible during the rainy seasons.

However there are some tarmacked roads like the Salama - Emali - Makindu road,
Katumani - Wote - Makindu road and the Salama - Mukaa - Nunguni roads.

Other major roads are under construction although some which were launched during the
2007 campaign period have stagnated.

In addition to roads, the Nairobi - Mombasa railway is also used for transport where
trains can be boarded at the Emali Railway station.

Condition of many Roads

Several roads in the County require additional attention to make themdursble and all
weaqther roads.

Through Rural electrification all community facilities and settlements should have grid
power supply. This will increase productivity and income as well as improve living
conditions of the population.

       Natural Resources
       Makueni County is home to two of the world's reknown wildlife habitats namely:

       -   Tsavo West National Park and the
       -   Game Reserve.

       These two resources occupy an area of 474.1 sq. km and 724.3 sq. km

       In addition there is a myriad of other smaller natural resources that the county can
       utilize for its prosperity.

       Land is a Resource:

       Land use, land management and land administration can change the
       economic phase of a region. Although most of the land in the County is
       classified as arid and not useful for agricultural development, with specific
       attention to innovate in dryland farming, a lot can be achieved.

       For Land to be a useful resource it should be identified, demarcated adelivered to
       the citizens with proper instruments to enable them utilize the same as collateral.

       Development Setting

The history of development in Makueni goes back to the entry of the colonialists and
missionaries in the 18th Century. Their coming opened up Makueni County and to a great
extent enhanced the traded between the Kamba people and the Coastal Region in items
such as honey and handicrafts. This construction of the Mombasa Nairobi Railway line
and the highway opened up several market outlets for agricultural produce and labour.

Presently several opportunities for development can be identified and outlined in the
following sectors:

   Increased agricultural production with specific attention to modern ways and
   Horticultural production and marketing.
   Wild Life Conservation and tourism.

    Upgrading and Updating of development        including conservasocial facilities:
     education and health.
    Water al so

5.      Conclusion

The potential of development through well targeted investment is great. When realized,
the Giant in Makueni will be awakened.


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