Central Province (Kenya)

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Central Province
Mkoa wa Kati
Location in Kenya
Location in Kenya
Coordinates: 0°45′S 37°0′E / 0.750°S 37.000°E / -0.750; 37.000Coordinates: 0°45′S 37°0′E / 0.750°S 37.000°E / -0.750; 37.000
Country Kenya
No. of Counties:5
 • Total11,449.1 km2 (4,420.5 sq mi)
 • Total4,383,743
 • Density380/km2 (990/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+3 (EAT)
Central Province of Kenya surrounded the capital, Nyeri, and included the slopes of Mount Kenya (click to enlarge map).

The Central Province (Swahili: Kati, Gikuyu: Gichigo gia Gatagati) was a region in central Kenya until 2013, when Kenya's provinces were replaced by a system of counties. It covered an area of 11,449 km2 (4,420 sq mi) and was located to the north of Nairobi and west of Mount Kenya (see maps). The province had 4,383,743[1] inhabitants according to the 2009 census. The provincial headquarters was Nyeri.

Central Province was the ancestral home of the Gikuyu people.[2]


The climate of Central Province is generally cooler than that of the rest of Kenya, due to the region's higher altitude. Rainfall is fairly reliable, falling in two seasons, one from early March to May (the long rains) and a second during October and November (the short rains).

General information[edit]

Central Province is a key producer of coffee, one of Kenya's key exports. Much of Kenya's dairy industry is also based in this province. The provincial headquarters were in Nyeri. Central Province was divided into seven districts (wilaya'at) until 2007:[3]

District Population Capital
Nyandarua   479,902 Ol Kalou*
Nyeri 661,156 Nyeri
Kirinyaga 457,105 Kerugoya
Maragua 387,969 Maragua
Murang'a 348,304 Murang'a
Thika 645,713 Thika
Kiambu 744,010 Kiambu
* former capital: Nyahururu


Code County Former Province Area (km2) Population
Census 2009
18 Nyandarua Central 3,107.7 596,268 Ol Kalou
19 Nyeri Central 2,361.0 693,558 Nyeri
20 Kirinyaga Central 1,205.4 528,054 Kerugoya / Kutus
21 Murang'a Central 2,325.8 942,581 Murang'a
22 Kiambu Central 2,449.2 1,623,282 Kiambu
Totals 11,449.1 4,383,743 -

Districts after 2007[edit]

Several new districts (declared sub-counties in 2013) were created in 2007:[3]

District Capital
Gatanga Gatanga
Gatundu Gatundu
Gatundu North Kamwangi
Githunguri Githunguri
Kabete Kikuyu
Kandara Kandara
Kiambu East (Kiambaa) Kiambu
Kiambu West Limuru
Kieni East Chaka
Kieni West Mweiga
Kigumo Kigumo
Kinangop Engineer
Kirinyaga Central Kerugoya
Kirinyaga East Kianyaga
Kirinyaga South Wanguru
Kirinyaga West Baricho
Lari Lari
Maragua Maragua
Mathioya Kiria-ini
Mathira East Karatina
Mathira West Kaiyaba
Mirangini Mirangini
Mukurweini Mukurweini
Murang'a North Murang'a
Murang'a South Kenol
Nyandarua Central Ol Kalou
Nyandarua North Ndaragwa
Nyandarua South Njambini
Nyandarua West Ol Jororok
Nyeri Central Nyeri
Nyeri South Othaya
Ruiru Ruiru
Tetu Wamagana
Thika East Gatuanyaga
Thika West Thika


The province is inhabited by the Kikuyu speaking community almost exclusively.[4][5] They are part of the Kenya Eastern Bantu.

During Kenya's colonization by the British, much of the province was regarded as part of the 'White Highlands', for the exclusive use of the European community. Therefore, it saw political activity from the local communities who felt that they had an ancestral right to the land. This tension culminated in the 1950s with the Mau Mau rebellion; it saw the region placed under a state of emergency and the arrest of many prominent political leaders.

Villages and settlements (A-J)[edit]

Villages and settlements (K)[edit]

Villages and settlements (L-Z)[edit]


  1. ^ "Kenya Census 2009" (PDF). Kenya Bureau of Statistics. August 28, 2009. Archived from the original (PDF) on August 10, 2013. Retrieved May 22, 2011.
  2. ^ edited by/laroussi amri (2014). Gender and Citizenship in the Global Age. oxford: codesria. p. 105. ISBN 9782869785892.CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)
  3. ^ a b Ministry of State for Provincial Administration and National Security Archived 2009-03-05 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ Childress, Sarah (2008-01-30). "Violence in Kenya Exposes Tribes' Widening Wealth Gap". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 2020-06-05.
  5. ^ Sabar, Galia (2001). Church, State and Society in Kenya: From Mediation to Opposition (1st ed.). Routledge. p. 69. ISBN 0714650773.