Taveta, Kenya

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Taveta is a town in the Taveta District of Coast Province in Kenya. The town has an urban population of 11,500 (1999 census [1]).


The town of Taveta is wedged into a projection of Kenyan territory bordered on the north and west by Tanzania.[1] The irregularity in the border was created c. 1881 when Queen Victoria gave Mount Kilimanjaro away as a wedding present to her grandson, then Crown Prince of Prussia and later Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany.[2] Subsequently, the border was adjusted so that Kilimanjaro would fall within the boundaries of the German colony of Tanganyika instead of the British protectorate of Kenya.[2]

Taveta thrives as a point of commerce between Kenya and Tanzania, with a twice-weekly outdoor market especially large for a town of its size. The market is fueled in part by Taveta's distinctive rail connection through Voi with the Mombasa-Nairobi-Kampala line, built by the British during the era of the Kenya protectorate and celebrated in the 1996 film The Ghost and the Darkness. Large numbers of people walk across the border from socialist Tanzania to buy and sell wares in Taveta; smuggled goods such as Tanzanian rubies and coffee are occasionally available there.

Taveta was recently promoted to host a district headquarters for the newly created Taveta District that was formerly a division in the larger Taita-Taveta District. Three divisions have already been crafted out of the new districts whose names are yet to be confirmed.

In terms of infrastructure, the main shame to this town is its dry weather road running from Taveta to Mwatate and Taveta to Emali. The roads a major link to other major towns are completely dilapidated, the people of Taveta have voted time and again for members of parliament who keep promising to have the roads tarmacked without success. Farmers cannot easily help it, but count losses every time it rains, as they cannot transport their crop harvests to the markets. Major improvement on the road network from Voi through Mwatate is currently (2014)ongoing.

Taveta Town [2] is a fast-growing city. The Town Council of Taveta has acquired a 20 km2 former sisal plantation to develop for town expansion. All government border offices are moved some five km from the town centre towards the border with Tanzania, with modern new office premises. Taveta town border post is currently (2014) under construction to have a one point border post concept to improve border trade and commerce with Tanzania, A member of the East African Community.

The current (2014) Member of Parliament for Taveta Constituency, which is largely the district and by extension the town, is Dr. Naomi Shaaban. She is a third term Member of Parliament.

In addition to Mount Kilimanjaro, Taveta also enjoys proximity to Lake Chala, a volcanic freshwater lake of extraordinary depth and lake jipe.

At one time, Taveta has had several Members of Parliament from different tribes, namely Mwacharo Kubo a taita, Norman Lukindo a kamba, Jackson Mwalulu a kamba, Alex Dingiria, Othinel Mnene, Naomi Shaaban, all Tavetas, and even a Kenyan of Greek origin, Basil Criticos.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Frontera, Ann E. (1978). Persistence and Change: A History of Taveta. Crossroads Press. p. xvi. 
  2. ^ a b Ness, Oliver (2007). Tales of a Globetrotting Doctor. Janus Publishing Company Limited. p. 81. ISBN 978-1-85756-667-3. 

External links[edit]

  • Town Council of Taveta [3]

Coordinates: 03°24′S 37°41′E / 3.400°S 37.683°E / -3.400; 37.683