Eldoret

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Eldoret
Municipality
Eldoret 2.JPG
Nickname(s): Eldy, Eldorado
Eldoret is located in Kenya
Eldoret
Eldoret
Location in Kenya
Coordinates: 0°31′N 35°17′E / 0.517°N 35.283°E / 0.517; 35.283Coordinates: 0°31′N 35°17′E / 0.517°N 35.283°E / 0.517; 35.283
Country  Kenya
County Uasin Gishu County
Population (2009)
 • Total 289,380 [1]
Time zone EAT (UTC+3)
Area code(s) +254 53

Eldoret is a town in western Kenya. It is the capital and largest town in Uasin Gishu County. Lying south of the Cherangani Hills, the local elevation varies from about 2100 metres above sea level at the airport to more than 2700 metres in nearby areas (7000–9000 feet). The population was 289,380 in the 2009 census,[1][2] and it is currently the fastest growing town in Kenya. It is also the 2nd largest urban centre in midwestern Kenya after Nakuru and the 5th largest urban centre in Kenya.

The name "Eldoret" is based on the Maasai word "eldore" meaning "stony river" [3] because the bed of the nearby Sosiani River is very stony. The white settlers decided to call it Eldoret to make it easier for them to pronounce it. At the start of the colonial era, the area was occupied by the Nandi, before that by the Maasai and before that the Sirikwa.

History[edit]

In 1908, fifty eight families of Afrikaans-speaking South African settlers "trekked" to the Uashin Gishu plateau from Nakuru after a journey from South Africa by sea and by rail from Mombasa. They were followed by sixty more families in 1911 and more later.[4] Eldoret was established in the midst of the farms they created.

The official town site of Eldoret itself started in 1910 with a Post Office on what was known to the white settlers as "Farm 64", "64" or "Sisibo" to the locals because, at that time it was 64 miles from the newly built Uganda Railway railhead at Kibigori.[5] Willy van Aardt owned the farm. The Central Lounge in Eldoret is all that remains of Willy's farm.

When the governor decided to establish an administrative centre, the Post Office was renamed from "64" with the official town name as "Eldoret" in 1912.[3] Becoming an administrative centre caused an enormous increase in trade within the prospective city. A bank and several shops were built.[3]

AMPATH Project, Eldoret, Kenya.jpg

The Uganda Railway extension, from Kibigori toward Uganda, reached Eldoret in 1924,[3] starting a new era of prosperity and growth. In 1928, a piped water supply from the Sosiani River was installed. In 1933, the East African Power and Lighting Company installed an electricity generator plant.[3] By that time, Eldoret had a small airport, and low-rental housing had been constructed.[3]

Daniel arap Moi was born in the neighbouring Baringo District, and under his presidency, the town was developed further.

William Ruto the current Deputy President of the Republic of Kenya is a son of the town. He has previously represented Eldoret North constituency in parliament.

In 1984, Moi University was established by the government, and named after the country's 2nd president Daniel arap Moi.

By 1987, only two Afrikaner families remained in Eldoret, with the rest having moved back to South Africa in the late 1950s and early 1960s, in the aftermath of the Mau Mau rebellion.[6]

Climate[edit]

Climate data for Eldoret
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 22
(72)
23
(74)
23
(74)
22
(71)
21
(70)
21
(69)
19
(67)
20
(68)
21
(70)
22
(72)
22
(71)
22
(71)
21.5
(70.8)
Average low °C (°F) 14
(57)
14
(57)
14
(58)
14
(58)
13
(56)
13
(55)
12
(54)
12
(54)
12
(54)
13
(56)
14
(57)
13
(56)
13.2
(56)
Precipitation mm (inches) 36
(1.4)
56
(2.2)
80
(3)
155
(6.1)
150
(5.9)
122
(4.8)
165
(6.5)
180
(7.1)
104
(4.1)
64
(2.5)
64
(2.5)
43
(1.7)
1,219
(47.8)
Source: Weatherbase [7]

Recent history[edit]

Lucas Sang was murdered about ten kilometers away from the town while on his way home to Chepkoilel, when violence gripped Kenya in December 2007 in the aftermath of controversial presidential elections.

On January 1, 2008 a mob attacked and set fire to a church in the town, where hundreds of people had taken refuge during Kenyan massacres. As a result, between 40 to 80 people, mostly Kikuyus, were burned to death.

Local governance[edit]

Eldoret is governed by a municipal council. The municipality is divided into thirteen wards. Six of them (Huruma, Kamukunji, Kapyemit, Kidiwa/Kapsuswa, and Stadium/Industrial, Market) are in Eldoret North Constituency, Three (Hospital, Kapsoya and Kimumu/Sergoit) are in Eldoret East Constituency, and the remaining four (Kipkenyo, Langas, Pioneer/Elgon View and Race Course) are part of Eldoret South Constituency. All of these three constituencies have more wards within other local authorities than Eldoret municipality.[8]

The current town clerk of Eldoret is Stanislas Ondimu.

Economy[edit]

Eldoret

The town is now home to a large market, Moi University and Eldoret International Airport. It is also known for its cheese factory. Major industries include textiles, wheat, pyrethrum and corn. The town has a number of factories.

Bingo Magazine have a comprehensive listing of businesses in Eldoret.

Eldoret is home to Moi University with a student population of 14,855 as of 2006. The second medical school in Kenya, Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital (MTRH), is also located in within the city limits of Eldoret Town. In 2013 work began on the building of East Africa's first public children's hospital; The Shoe4Africa Children's Hospital, in the campus of the Moi Referral.

Eldoret Polytechnic, the third national polytechnic, is also located in the town.

Eldoret, in particular the Elgon View area, is the hometown of numerous legendary Kenyan runners, the most renowned of whom is Kipchoge Keino. The high altitude is an ideal training ground for many middle and long distance athletes. The runners from Eldoret have contributed significantly to the economy of Eldoret town, investing in small businesses/real estate, from their winnings in races all over the world. Moses Kiptanui is a stake holder in one of the largest buildings Komora that houses many offices and a large supermarket chain.

Eldoret is also surrounded by a very agricultural area, and for this reason is home to many farmers.

Eldoret is also home to a number nationally recognised manufacturing industries like Raiplywoods, Ken-Knit, Lochab Brothers, and Kandola and Son's. All these industries were set up and developed by some of the oldest Indian origin families in the rift valley region namely The Rai's, The Kandola's, The Shah's, The Lochab's and The Patel's.

Eldoret has a number of estates. Almost each estate has it identity. Some of the estates include; Elgon View, Langas, Huruma, Kapsoya, Kahoya, West Indies, West, Kipkaren, Kimumu, Jerusalem, Pioneer among many others.

There is a growing professional crowd emerging in Eldoret now, whose presence is being felt in the town. Due to the Moi Referral and Teaching Hospital and Eldoret Hospital,which is also having specialised radiology services and Doctors Plaza, there is a host of experienced doctors. Among lawyers, the oldest firm in the region is Nyairo and Company, that was founded by Alfred Momanyi Nyairo in the sixties.

Eldoret is also home to the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF)'s High Altitude Training Center for Kenyan and international athletes.

Transportation[edit]

Eldoret International Airport serves the city and was voted the cleanest airport in the country in 2001. The Trans -African highway also passes through the town. It is also served by the Kenya-Uganda railway.[9] It also has the oil pipeline passing through the town and a station is there.

Sister city[edit]

Country City County/District/Province/Region/State Date
 Germany Bad Vilbel Hessen 1982 [10]
 USA Minneapolis Minnesota 2000 [11]
 USA Indianapolis Indiana 2007 [12]
 USA Ithaca New York unknown [13]
 USA Portsmouth Virginia unknown

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Kenya | U.S. Agency for International Development". Kenya.usaid.gov. Retrieved 2013-12-10. 
  2. ^ "Population of Local Authorities" (with towns), Government of Kenya, 1999, webpage: GovtKenya-Population-PDF.
  3. ^ a b c d e f "The town of Eldoret" (history), Delft University of Technology (TUDelft), Netherlands, October 2004, webpage: TUDelft-Eldoret.
  4. ^ Red strangers: the white tribe of Kenya, ISBN 1-85725-206-3, by Christine Stephanie Nicholls
  5. ^ [1][dead link]
  6. ^ "Remnants Of Boer Colony Glad They Stayed In Kenya". April 1, 1987. Retrieved 16 September 2013. 
  7. ^ "Weatherbase: Historical Weather for Eldoret, Kenya". Weatherbase. 2011.  Retrieved on November 24, 2011.
  8. ^ Electoral Commission of Kenya: Registration centres by electoral area and constituency
  9. ^ [2][dead link]
  10. ^ "Bad Vilbel - Stadt der Quellen". Bad-vilbel.de. Retrieved 2013-12-10. 
  11. ^ [3][dead link]
  12. ^ "Minutes of the City-County Council and Special Service District Councils of Indianapolis, Marion County, Indiana". Indy.gov. Retrieved 2013-12-10. 
  13. ^ [4][dead link]

External links[edit]