Gatundu is a small town in the Central Province of Kenya. It is known for the first Kenyan president Jomo Kenyatta who was from this area, as well as his son, Uhuru Kenyatta, now 4th President of Kenya and former Member of Parliament representing Gatundu South Constituency.
Gatundu has an approximate population of 10,000 people who reside and work within the town.
Location and history
Gatundu town is located west of Thika about 29 Kilometers, road distance through Mang'u and north of Kiambu about 44 Kilometers, road distance through Ruiru. It is currently in Kiambu County. Back in 1960s-2007, Gatundu was in Kiambu District which would later be split and Gatundu itself became a District. Gatundu town is currently hosting the district headquarters. Kenyatta Road connects the town to the newly constructed Thika Road Super-Highway.
Gatundu and its environs has two constituencies: Gatundu North Constituency and Gatundu South Constituency. Gatundu North Constituency is currently represented by Kigo Njenga as the Member of parliament. Gatundu South Constituency is represented by Jossy Ngugi Nyumu as the Member of Parliament after Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta who was the area MP for 2 terms.
The town is currently hosting the Gatundu district headquarters.
Gatundu Law Courts are located near the Gatundu District hospital. Modern law courts were built after the old ones once caught fire.
Ethnic community and religion
Gatundu belongs to rural highland north of capital Nairobi. Local people are mainly of the Kikuyu people also called the Agikuyu. The town also has several people from other ethnic groups in Kenya present in the region for business purposes.
The people in this town are mostly Christians. Only churches are present, including
- Martyrs of Uganda Catholic Church
- Oasis of Hope
- P.C.E.A Marima
- Christian Church international C.C.I.
The main economic activity in Gatundu town is business. Businessmen and businesswomen in this town do their day to day activities in various businesses. An open air market in the town attracts many buyers and sellers from the neighboring villages. There is only one supermarket called Happy Supermarket and several general stores.
The neighboring villages are agricultural productive and therefore feeds the market with agricultural commodities.
Transport and communication
The local public service vans, minibuses and taxis play a major role in transport industry of this town. Vans (also called matatus) transport passengers from the town to other towns including Nairobi city, Thika, Ruiru, Juja and Kamwangi towns. A big challenge is the road network. Except the roads connecting the town to Nairobi and Thika, all the other roads are dry weather roads which makes it impassable during rainy seasons to connect to the highly productive villages.
Motorbikes also called "bondabondas" are common in the town and therefore competing with taxis which transport people to areas not covered by matatus.
The area is covered well by the local mobile service providers in Kenya namely safaricom, Yu[disambiguation needed], Orange and Airtel. Mobile phones are therefore commonly used as the means of communication. Several cyber cafes also assist with internet services.
There is also Gatundu Post Office.
The town lacks higher institutions of learning. There is Gatundu Primary School, a public school. Private primary schools are many including:
- Happy Times
- Gloria Primary School
- Good Luck Primary school
- Harti Primary School
- Muthurumbi primary school
Gatundu district Hospital serves almost all health needs of the people in this region. St. Jude Nursing Home located at Gatundu-Juja road is a private hospital. Other private clinics are also established in the region including:
- Health Watch
Due to investments and businesses in the town, there are various banks, microfinace institutions and SACCO'S including:
- Equity Bank
- Family Bank
- Co-operative Bank
- Pamoja Women Development Programme
- Bright Enriched Empowerment Programme
- Tai SACCO
- Eekuria SACCO