Counties of Kenya

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For the defunct county councils of Kenya, see local authorities of Kenya.
Kenyan Counties
Kaunti za Kenya (Swahili)
Map showing Counties underthe new kenyan constitution..gif
Category Semi-Devolved State
Location Republic of Kenya
Number 47 Counties
Populations 101,539 (Lamu) – 3,138,369 (Nairobi)
Areas 294.7 km2 (113.8 sq mi) (Mombasa) – 71,597.8 km2 (27,644.1 sq mi) (Turkana)
Government County Government, Government of Kenya
Subdivisions Sub-Counties
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The counties of Kenya are geographical units envisioned by the 2010 Constitution of Kenya as the units of devolved government.[1] The powers are provided in Articles 191 and 192, and in the fourth schedule of the Constitution of Kenya and the County Governments Act of 2012. The counties are also single member constituencies for the election of members of parliament to the Senate of Kenya[2] and special women members of parliament to the National Assembly of Kenya.[3] As of 2013 general elections, there are 47 counties whose size and boundaries are based on the 47 legally recognised Districts of Kenya. Following the re-organisation of Kenya's national administration, counties were integrated into a new national administration with the national government posting county commissioners to represent it at the counties.[4]


County governments were established in 47 counties (based on the 1992 Districts of Kenya), after the scheduled general elections in March 2013. The counties' names are set out in the First Schedule of the Constitution of Kenya.

List of counties[edit]

Under the new constitution, Kenya is now divided into 47 counties for administrative purposes. They are grouped below according to the former province of which they were part, with their areas and populations as of the 2009 census:[5]

Code County Former Province Area (km2) Population
Census (2009)
1 Mombasa (County) Coast 212.5 939,370 Mombasa (City)
2 Kwale Coast 8,270.3 649,931 Kwale
3 Kilifi Coast 12,245.9 1,109,735 Kilifi
4 Tana River Coast 35,375.8 240,075 Hola
5 Lamu Coast 6,497.7 101,539 Lamu
6 Taita–Taveta Coast 17,083.9 284,657 Mwatate
7 Garissa North Eastern 45,720.2 623,060 Garissa
8 Wajir North Eastern 55,840.6 661,941 Wajir
9 Mandera North Eastern 25,797.7 1,025,756 Mandera
10 Marsabit Eastern 66,923.1 291,166 Marsabit
11 Isiolo Eastern 25,336.1 143,294 Isiolo
12 Meru Eastern 6,930.1 1,356,301 Meru
13 Tharaka-Nithi Eastern 2,409.5 365,330 Kathwana
14 Embu Eastern 2,555.9 516,212 Embu
15 Kitui Eastern 24,385.1 1,012,709 Kitui
16 Machakos Eastern 5,952.9 1,098,584 Machakos
17 Makueni Eastern 8,008.9 884,527 Wote
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
23 Turkana Rift Valley 71,597.8 855,399 Lodwar
24 West Pokot Rift Valley 8,418.2 512,690 Kapenguria
25 Samburu Rift Valley 20,182.5 223,947 Maralal
26 Trans-Nzoia Rift Valley 2,469.9 818,757 Kitale
27 Uasin Gishu Rift Valley 2,955.3 894,179 Eldoret
28 Elgeyo-Marakwet Rift Valley 3,049.7 369,998 Iten
29 Nandi Rift Valley 2,884.5 752,965 Kapsabet
30 Baringo Rift Valley 11,075.3 555,561 Kabarnet
31 Laikipia Rift Valley 8,696.1 399,227 Rumuruti
32 Nakuru Rift Valley 7,509.5 1,603,325 Nakuru
33 Narok Rift Valley 17,921.2 850,920 Narok
34 Kajiado Rift Valley 21,292.7 687,312 Kajiado
35 Kericho Rift Valley 2,454.5 752,396 Kericho
36 Bomet Rift Valley 1,997.9 730,129 Bomet
37 Kakamega Western 3,033.8 1,660,651 Kakamega
38 Vihiga Western 531.3 554,622 Vihiga
39 Bungoma Western 2,206.9 1,375,063 Bungoma
40 Busia Western 1,628.4 743,946 Busia
41 Siaya Nyanza 2,496.1 842,304 Siaya
42 Kisumu Nyanza 2,009.5 968,909 Kisumu(City)
43 Homa Bay Nyanza 3,154.7 963,794 Homa Bay
44 Migori Nyanza 2,586.4 917,170 Migori
45 Kisii Nyanza 1,317.9 1,152,282 Kisii
46 Nyamira Nyanza 912.5 598,252 Nyamira
47 Nairobi (County) Nairobi (Province) 694.9 3,138,369 Nairobi (City)
581,309.0 38,610,097 Nairobi

County Governments[edit]

County governments are responsible for county legislation (outlined in article 185 of the Constitution of Kenya), executive functions (outlined in article 183), functions outlined in the fourth schedule of the constitution of Kenya, functions transferred from the national government through article 187 of the constitution of Kenya, functions agreed upon with other counties under article 189(2) of the constitution of Kenya, and establishment and staffing of a public service (under article 235 of the Constitution of Kenya).[6] The functions of governments assigned to counties by the fourth schedule of the Constitution of Kenya are:[7]


  • Crop and animal husbandry
  • Livestock sale yards
  • County abattoirs (slaughterhouses)
  • Plant and animal disease control
  • Fisheries

County health services[edit]

  • County health facilities and pharmacies
  • Ambulance services
  • Promotion of primary health care
  • Licensing and control of undertakings that sell food to the public
  • Veterinary services (excluding regulation of the profession)
  • Cemeteries, funeral parlors and crematoria
  • Refuse removal, refuse dumps and solid waste disposal

Pollution, Nuisances and Advertising Control[edit]

  • Control of air pollution, noise pollution, other public nuisances and outdoor advertising

Cultural activities, public entertainment and public amenities[edit]

  • Betting, casinos and other forms of gambling
  • Racing
  • Liquor licensing
  • Cinemas
  • Video shows and hiring
  • Libraries
  • Museums
  • Sports and cultural activities and facilities
  • County parks, beaches and recreation facilities

County transport[edit]

  • County roads
  • Street lighting
  • Traffic and parking
  • Public road transport
  • Ferries and harbours, excluding the regulation of international and national shipping and matters related thereto

Animal control and welfare[edit]

  • Licensing of dogs
  • Facilities for the accommodation, care and burial of animals
  • Killing of stray pets

Trade development and regulation[edit]

  • Markets
  • Trade licences, excluding regulation of professions
  • Fair trading practices
  • Local tourism
  • Cooperative societies
  • ffgg

County planning and development[edit]

  • Statistics
  • Land survey, planning and mapping
  • Boundaries and fencing
  • Housing
  • Electricity and gas reticulation and energy regulation

Education and Childcare[edit]

  • Pre-primary education, village polytechnics, homecraft centres and childcare facilities

Policy Implementation[edit]

  • Implementation of specific national government policies on natural resources and environmental conservation
  • Soil and water conservation
  • Forestry

County public works and services[edit]

  • Storm water management systems in built-up areas
  • Water and sanitation services

Fire fighting services and disaster management[edit]

Control of drugs and pornography[edit]


  • Ensuring and co-ordinating the participation of communities and locations in governance at the local level
  • Assisting communities and locations to develop the administrative capacity for the effective exercise of the functions and powers and participation in governance at the local level

County Executive Committee[edit]

The county governor and the deputy county governor are the chief executive and deputy chief executive of the county, respectively.[8] The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission shall not conduct a separate election for the deputy governor but shall declare the running mate of the person who is elected county governor to have been elected as the deputy governor.[9] Each county will be run by an executive committee, consisting of:

  • A governor, elected directly by the people
  • A deputy, elected as running mate of the successful candidate for governorship
  • A number of committee members not exceeding a third (or ten where a county assembly has more than 30 members) of the members of the respective county assembly
  • A county secretary, nominated by the governor and approved by the county assembly, who will double up as head of the county public service, and secretary to the county executive committee[10]

As a specialty in the democratic system Kenyan law requires governors to have a recognized university degree (it is not necessary for the President of the United States, for example, to hold a degree).[11]

County Assemblies[edit]

The counties will each have an assembly whose members are elected from single member constituencies known as wards. There may also be a number of nominated members as is necessary to ensure that neither male nor female members constitute more than two-thirds of the assembly.[12] There will also be six nominated members to represent marginalized groups (persons with disabilities, and the youth) and a speaker who will be an ex officio member of the assembly.[13][14]

County Governors[edit]


Embu County governor Martin Nyagah Wambora was the first governor to be impeached following allegations of impropriety.[15][16][17]

Current List of Governors[edit]

The governors listed below took office on 27 March 2013, unless otherwise noted.

County No Name Governor Deputy Governor Party
1 Mombasa (County) Hassan Joho Hazel Ezabel Nyamoki Ogunde ODM
2 Kwale Salim Mvurya Fatuma Mohamed Achani ODM
3 Kilifi Amason Kingi Kenneth Mwakombo Kamto ODM
4 Tana River Tuneya Dado Jire Siyat Mohamed WDM-K
5 Lamu Issa Timamy Erick Kinyua Mugo UDF
6 Taita-Taveta John Mruttu Mary Ndiga Kibuka ODM
7 Garissa Nathif Jama Adam Abdullahi Hussein Ali WDM-K
8 Wajir Ahmed Abdullahi Mohamad Abdulhafid Abdullahi Yarow ODM
9 Mandera Ibrahim Roba Ali Omar Mohamed Maalim URP
10 Marsabit Ukur Yattani Omar Abdi Ali ODM
11 Isiolo Godana Doyo Mohamed Gulleid Abdille URP
12 Meru Peter Munya Raphael Muriungi APK
13 Tharaka Samuel Ragwa Eliud Mate Muriithi TNA
14 Embu Martin Wambora Dorothy Nditi Muchungu[18]
15 Kitui Julius Malombe Malonza Peninah WDM-K
16 Machakos Alfred Mutua Benard Muia Tom Kiala WDM-K
17 Makueni Kivutha Kibwana Adelina Ndeto Mwau MP
18 Nyandarua Daniel Waithaka Waithaka Mwangi Kirika TNA
19 Nyeri Wamathai Samuel Githaiga vacant GNU
20 Kirinyaga Joseph Ndathi Julius Muthike Njiri TNA
21 Murang'a Mwangi wa Iria Augustine J Gakure Monyo TNA
22 Kiambu William Gitau Gerald Gakuha Githinji TNA
23 Turkana Josphat Nanok Peter Ekai Lokoel ODM
24 West Pokot Simon Kitalei Titus Lotee KANU
25 Samburu Moses Kasaine Joseph Lemarkat URP
26 Trans-Nzoia Patrick Khaemba Stanley Kiptoo Kenei Tarus FORD-KENYA
27 Uasin Gishu Jackson Mandago Daniel Kiplagat Kiprotich URP
28 Elgeyo-Marakwet Alex Tolgos Gabriel Lagat Kosgey URP
29 Nandi Lagat Cleophas Dominic Kimutai Biwott URP
30 Baringo Benjamin Cheboi Mathew Kipyator Tuitoek URP
31 Laikipia Joshua Irungu Josphat Gitonga Kabugi TNA
32 Nakuru Kinuthia Mbugua Joseph Kibore Rutto TNA
33 Narok Samuel ole Tunai Aruasa Evalyn Chepkirui URP
34 Kajiado David ole Nkedianye Paul Mpute Ntiati ODM
35 Kericho Paul Kiprono Susan Chepkoech Kikwai URP
36 Bomet Isaac Ruto Stephen Kipkoech Mutai URP
37 Kakamega Wycliffe Oparanya Philip Museve Kutima ODM
38 Vihiga Moses Akaranga Caleb Temba Amaswache PPK
39 Bungoma Ken Lusaka Hillary Moywo Chongwony NFK
40 Busia Sospeter Ojaamong Kizito Osore Wangalwa ODM
41 Siaya Cornel Rasanga Wilson Ouma Onyango ODM
42 Kisumu Jack Ranguma Ruth Adhiambo Odinga Busia ODM
43 Homa Bay Cyprian Awiti Hamiliton Onyango Orata ODM
44 Migori Zacharia Obado Nelson Mahanga Mwita PDP
45 Kisii James Ongwae Arthur Maangi Gongera ODM
46 Nyamira John Obiero Amos Kimwomi Nyaribo ODM
47 Nairobi (County) Evans Kidero J. Mwangangi Mueke ODM

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Article 6, Devolution and access to Services, The 2010 Constitution of Kenya
  2. ^ Article 98, (1) (a), Membership of the Senate, the 2010 Constitution of Kenya
  3. ^ Article 97, (1) (b) Membership of the National Assembly, The 2010 Constitution of Kenya
  4. ^ Kenyan County Commissioners Re-Organised Under New Structure,
  5. ^ Kenya National Bureau of Statistics; and the final report of the IEBC as ratified in the National Assembly Constituencies and County Assembly Wards Order, 2012.
  6. ^ County Governments Act, 2012
  7. ^ "2. County Governments". Kenya Law Reform Commission. 29 August 2012. 
  8. ^ "179. County executive committees". Kenya Law Reform Commission. 29 August 2012. 
  9. ^ "180. Election of county governor and deputy county governor". Kenya Law Reform Commission. 29 August 2012. 
  10. ^ Appointment of county secretary, Section 44, County Government Act 2012
  11. ^ "SHITANDA, WANJIRU OUT OVER DEGREES". The Standard. 18 January 2013. Retrieved 20 January 2013. 
  12. ^ Article 177, (1) Membership of a County Assembly, The 2010 Constitution of Kenya.
  13. ^ Article 177 (c), The 2010 Constitution of Kenya
  14. ^ [1]
  15. ^ "Embu governor Martin Wambora found guilty of 3 out of 5 allegations". Retrieved 20 June 2014. 
  16. ^ "County assembly members impeach Embu governor". Retrieved 10 October 2014. 
  17. ^ "Nditi to be acting Embu Governor, court rules". Retrieved 20 June 2014. 
  18. ^ "Embu new governor assures she is equal to the task". Nation Media Group. Retrieved 15 February 2014. 

External links[edit]